Human case of Brucellosis reported in Texas

Elk

Texas  05/04/10  theeagle.com:  A human case of an infectious disease called brucellosis (also known as Undulant Fever) has been confirmed in Brazos County, making it only the second such report in the past five years.  Brazos County Health Department officials issued a warning Monday, saying that while the disease is not common, residents need to take precautions.  Sara Mendez, with the health department, said such bacteria primarily are passed among animals, but sometimes do cause disease in humans. Various Brucella species affect sheep, goats, cattle, deer, elk, wild hogs, dogs and several other animals. She said people may become infected by coming in contact with animals and animal products that are contaminated with these bacteria.

Officials asked people to take care of skin wounds because contamination can occur if the person works with wild game, or by accidentally ingesting the bacteria after consuming undercooked deer, wild hog or elk.  Hunters are being advised to wear rubber gloves and to practice proper hand washing hygiene when handling the viscera of animals. Mendez said those gloves should be burned or buried after use. Symptoms of brucellosis are similar to flu and may include fever, sweats, headaches, back pains and physical weakness. Mendez encouraged anyone suffering from these symptoms and who recently went hunting or consumed wild game to seek advice from a doctor.

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