By Fang Xiao
Epoch Times StaffCreated: June 6, 2012Last Updated: June 7, 2012
Related articles: China » Society
Quarantined medical workers are seen wearing masks to protect against the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), on April 30, 2004, in Beijing, China. (Photo by Getty Images)
An outbreak of brucellosis amongst populations of livestock all over China is now rapidly developing, with at least 350 million Chinese at risk of being infected by the disease. Brucellosis infects cattle, pigs and sheep, and can be transmitted to humans through the consumption of dairy products and exposure to infected animals.
Here is a clip on what Brucellosis is:
Brucellosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by infection with the bacterial genusBrucella. These organisms, which are small aerobic intracellular coccobacilli, localize in the reproductive organs of host animals, causing abortions and sterility. They are shed in large numbers in the animal’s urine, milk, placental fluid, and other fluids. Exposure to infected animals and animal products causes brucellosis in humans.
The global burden of human brucellosis remains enormous; it causes more than 500,000 infections per year worldwide. The annual number of reported cases in United States (now approximately 100 cases) has dropped significantly because of aggressive animal vaccination programs and milk pasteurization. Most of the US cases are now due to the consumption of illegally imported unpasteurized dairy products from Mexico. Approximately 60% of human brucellosis cases in the United States now occur in California and Texas.
The interest in brucellosis has been increasing because of the growing phenomena of international tourism and migration, in addition to the potential use of Brucellaas a biological weapon. (For more information, see the article CBRNE – Brucellosis in eMedicine’s Emergency Medicine volume.) Familiarity with the manifestations of brucellosis and the optimal laboratory studies is essential for physicians to recognize this re-emerging zoonosis.
Recently, B melitensis, Brucella abortus, and Brucella suis have been completely sequenced, which will help improve our understanding of the complex pathogenesis and the diverse manifestations of this complex disease.
“This epidemic is the most serious one ever recorded to date.” said Wang Dali, a specialist from the Brucellosis Research Center in the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC).
Wang was rushed to Hunan Province to deal with cases of brucellosis on May 14, according to the Caixin’s New Century Weekly magazine. He normally receives such calls only after an epidemic has turned especially serious. Continue Reading…