Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria of the genus Brucella. These bacteria primarily infect animals, such as cattle, dogs, pigs, sheep and goats.
The symptoms of brucellosis are nonspecific. They include fever, sweat, malaise, anorexia, headache, pain in muscles, joint, and/or back, fatigue, loss of appetite, and weakness. Severe infections may affect the brain, heart, liver, spleen, other organs or body systems. The disease may progress to a chronic one and persist for years. Relapses may occur after treatment.
Mode of transmission
Brucellosis can be transmitted to humans from infected animals or contaminated animal products through the following ways:
Direct human-to-human spread is rare.
High risk groups
People who are occupationally exposed to infected animals or their tissues, such as slaughterhouse workers, meat-packing workers, veterinarians and laboratory workers, are relatively at high risk of contracting brucellosis. In Hong Kong, brucellosis is a notifiable occupational disease.
The incubation period is usually 2 to 4 weeks but can range from 5 days to 6 months
Brucellosis can be treated by antibiotics.
Vaccine is available for animals only. To prevent the infection, members of the public are urged to observe good personal and food hygiene.
1. Maintain good personal hygiene
2. Maintain good food hygiene
Please visit the website of Centre for Food Safety for more information on food safety.