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A rare infection outbreak in dogs can spread to humans, scientists say

There has been an increased number of cases of an outbreak of a rare infection in dogs in the Midwestern part of the United States. However, experts believe that the infection is likely to affect humans too.

Canine Brucellosis is believed to have originated in a commercial breeding facility for dogs. It wasn’t long before the problem quickly grappled other adjacent areas. The total number of victims affected by the infection is currently unknown yet the estimated figure for Iowa is known to be somewhere around a hundred to two hundred. All the dogs in the breeding facility and all suspect cases have been quarantined. Medical scientists are amidst in an ongoing vigorous search to find the exact cause of Canine Brucellosis. Subsequently, they are also looking for viable treatment/vaccination procedures to prevent the problem of exacerbating.

However, the bigger concern at this point is the possibility of the infection to spread to humans too.

What to know about Canine Brucellosis?

From the available scientific research, Canine Brucellosis is a disease known to affect the reproductive system of the dog. In the female breed, it can lead to immediate abortion, stillbirth and even infertility. On the other hand, male dogs with Canine Brucellosis face the problem of decreased sperm count followed by severe pain in the testicles.

The infection spreads through bodily fluids particularly the reproductive fluids such as semen. There is also a high chance for the puppy to catch the disease during the birthing period.

That being said, experts have gone to the extent of classifying Canine Brucellosis as a zoonotic disease. Which really means that there is a chance for transmission across species. In other words, a human can catch the infection from a dog although through a completely different mean. This can happen if the bodily fluid of the dog can somehow come in contact with an object thereby contaminating it.

Fortunately, so far, only a handful of patients have been diagnosed with the infection. The common symptoms most exhibited included fatigue, excessive sweating, fever and bodily aches. The severity of the symptoms was high in children and individuals with a weak immune system.

Treatment for humans & dogs

Canine Brucellosis can easily be detected through blood tests, recalling any past exposure to contamination and more importantly through various symptoms. However, the problem arises when the infection becomes difficult to diagnose in dogs. Because in most circumstances, they will tend to be asymptomatic.

Having said all of that, antibiotics are frequently used to treat Canine Brucellosis in both humans and dogs, if the disease is detected in the latter. One important thing to note is that a dog, if catches the infection will carry the bacterial microbe for the rest of its life. There is no such treatment facility available that can effectively cure the condition. Spraying and neutering can aid in overcoming most of the symptoms are yet not the substitutes for treatment. The two methods may also help in the prevention of the bacteria from one dog to another or from a dog to a human.

It’s about time before medical research comes up with more viable alternatives and promises a better future outlook.


Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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