FEB 23, 2019 7:59 AM PST

What is Brucellosis?

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Zoonotic diseases can jump from species to species. One example is brucellosis, which humans can get after consuming cheese or milk that has not been pasteurized, a process that removes pathogens from food by heating it mildly. The FDA has warned against drinking unpasteurized milk (also known as raw milk).

This video from Mayo Clinic outlines brucellosis, which is caused by bacteria. It causes fatigue, fever, sweats and joint or muscle pain and is often treated successfully with antibiotics. It can become a more serious chronic illness, however.

The CDC is currently investigating an outbreak of brucellosis "connected to consuming raw (unpasteurized) milk from Miller’s Biodiversity Farm in Quarryville, Pennsylvania." People in nineteen states have purchased products from this farm, and the CDC is suggesting that those who bought Miller's Biodiversity Farm milk at any time since January 2016 should discuss it with their doctors. The CDC's report noted that the farm's infected cow has been identified and removed.

Gram-negative Brucella abortus bacteria, grown on a medium of sheep's blood agar / Credit: CDC/ Dr. Todd Parker, Audra Marsh

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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