ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences
Brucellosis is a debilitating disease in humans caused by a micrococcus, of which several strains have been isolated from humans and animals. Transmission to humans occurs as an occupational hazard or by ingestion of contaminated milk products. The individual most at risk is the meat industry worker or the veterinarian. Transmission of the organism is via open wounds or from poor personal hygiene. The incubation period is several weeks to months, depending upon the strain of organism causing the infection. The acute disease may occur as a mild, transient illness or as an explosive, toxic disease. Symptoms are nonspecific but generally include malaise, chills, sweats, fatigue and weakness.
Prevention in humans relates directly to prevention of the disease in animals, immunisation and personal hygiene.
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American Society for Microbiology, Washington DC, U.S.A.