Q Why is it in News?
Recently, Kerala launched preventive measures after a few cases of brucellosis, a zoonotic infection, have been detected in some dairy animals.
- Earlier in September 2020 Brucella abortus S19Δ per vaccine was developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s -Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI) for brucellosis prevention in the dairy sector.
Q What are Zoonotic Diseases?
- It is a disease that passes into the human population from an animal source directly or through an intermediary species.
- Zoonotic infections can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic in nature, with animals playing a vital role in maintaining such infections.
- Examples of zoonoses include HIV-AIDS, Ebola, Malaria, and the current Covid-19 disease.
Q What kind of disease is Brucellosis?
- It is a bacterial disease caused by various Brucella species, which mainly infect cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs.
- It is also known as Malta fever or Mediterranean fever.
- Brucellosis is endemic in India causing huge economic losses to dairy industry due to:
- Birth of weak off springs
- Reduced productivity
Q How does it infect Humans?
Infection to Humans:
- Brucellosis has infected over 3000 people in China.
- Humans generally acquire the disease through:
- Direct contact with infected animals.
- Eating, drinking contaminated animal products, unpasteurized milk.
- Inhaling airborne agents.
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that person-to-person transmission of brucellosis is “extremely rare” but some symptoms may reoccur or never go away.
Q What are some common symptoms?
- Fever, sweats, malaise, anorexia (psychological disorder in which one eats less due to fear of weight gain), headache and muscle pain.
Q How can it be treated and prevented?
- It is usually treated with antibiotics, including rifampin and doxycycline.
- Avoiding unpasteurised dairy products and taking safety precautions such as wearing rubber gloves, gowns or aprons, when handling animals or working in a laboratory can help prevent or reduce the risk of getting brucellosis.
- Other preventive measures include cooking meat properly, vaccinating domestic animals, etc.