Upcoming Webinar :Register now for 'ULIP as an investment during economic recovery' powered by Bajaj Allianz
you are here: HomeNewsTrendsHealth

What is Brucellosis, the disease that has now infected over 3,000 people in China?

Those at higher risk of contracting Brucellosis include farmers, butchers, hunters, veterinarians and laboratory personnel.
Sep 24, 2020 / 12:40 PM IST
Representative image
Representative image

More than 3,000 people have tested positive for Brucellosis in the Chinese city of Lanzhou, a disease caused by contact with livestock.

No fatalities due to the disease have been reported so far in this outbreak. Authorities have tested 21,847 people out of Lanzhou's 2.9 million population for Brucellosis.

What is Brucellosis?

"Brucellosis is a bacterial disease caused by various Brucella species, which mainly infect cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs," according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The disease is found globally, and can affect people across ages and sexes. Those at higher risk include farmers, butchers, hunters, veterinarians and laboratory personnel.


The disease, also called Malta Fever, causes flu-like symptoms and is usually transmitted through direct contact with infected animals, and by inhaling contaminated air.

Consuming contaminated animal products such as unpasteurised milk and cheese can also cause the disease. Human-to-human transmission is very rare, according to the WHO.


The incubation period is usually 2-4 weeks, but ranges from 1 week to 2 months.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these are some signs of Brucellosis:

> Fever
> Sweats
> Malaise
> Anorexia
> Headache
> Pain in muscles, joint, and/or back

> Fatigue

Other complications arising from the disease include arthritis, inflammation of the liver and inflammation of the testicles.


The WHO says pasteurisation of milk before consumption or making milk-based products is crucial.

The WHO also recommends vaccination of cattle, goats and sheep to curb the spread of Brucellosis.

"Vaccination of cattle, goats and sheep is recommended in enzootic areas with high prevalence rates. Serological or other testing and culling can also be effective in areas with low prevalence," the WHO said.

"In agricultural work and meat-processing, protective barriers and correct handling and disposal of afterbirths, animal carcasses and internal organs is an important prevention strategy," the WHO added.

Cooking meat properly before eating is another preventive measure, according to the CDC.


The bacteria is usually detected through samples of blood, bone marrow, or other body fluids. Blood tests can also be conducted to detect anti-bodies.

"Once a diagnosis is made, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics," the CDC said.

According to the CDC, recovery can take a few weeks to several months depending on the severity of the illness.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Sep 24, 2020 12:40 pm

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser