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TheGermDoctor
TheGermDoctor, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  17 years as a physician, Board Certified in both Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine.
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person, both as a hunter, and a consumer of meat, prevent brucellosis

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while on a hunting trip in africa(namibia), the guide and a friend came down with what was diagnosed as malta fever. what do you know about african animals that may carry brucellosis? and how can a person, both as a hunter, and a consumer of meat, prevent brucellosis? and, by even touching an infected animal that has been harvested, could a person still be at risk?

Hello gems-

 

Brucellosis is a bacterial infection that we consider a "zoonotic' infection- People become infected after contact with an infected animal- usually sheep, goats, cattle or pigs (and rarely dogs). In the animals the infection is chronic and persists for life and is shed from the animals in urine, milk and products of pregnancy delivery. People become infected with direct contact with the animals or their secretions, with abrasions on the skin, or inhaling infected aerosols. The meat of an infected animal is low risk because the bacteria is generally not in muscle tissue- but a hunter would be at high risk from the preparation of the animal. Unpasteurized milk however WOULD be a significant risk.

 

 

If you have had contact with a known source of brucellosis, and had a high risk exposure, particularly if you know that others have become infected, prophylactic antibiotics may be considered- with doxycycline- for 3-6 weeks. This is somewhat unproven and I would advise you see an infectious diseases doctor if this is decided.. If your exposure was just eating meat I would NOT advise antibiotics. Bloodwork for antibodies to brucella can be checked as well to confirm exposure.

 

I hope that helps.

 

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