Wed, Feb 08, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Brucellosis added to CDC’s list of reportable diseases

Staff Writer, with CNA

Brucellosis, an infectious disease that occurs in humans through contact with animals, has been listed as a notifiable communicable disease, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.

Brucellosis has been put on the list of 60-plus transmittable diseases that must be reported in order to lower the risk of them spreading, CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said.

Taiwan had been free of brucellosis for three decades, but five imported cases cropped up between May and October last year, Chou said, explaining why the CDC made the decision to add the disease to the list.

The five confirmed cases were Taiwanese who had contracted the disease during overseas trips — one to North Africa, three to Malaysia and the fifth in China, Chou said.

He urged doctors to be vigilant in checking patients for symptoms of the disease, which include fever, abdominal pain, excessive sweating, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, fatigue and depression.

Brucellosis is usually treated with antibiotics, but in a few cases it could cause death as a result of infective endocarditis, a CDC press release said.

Brucella is caused by a bacteria that can infect cattle, goats, camels, dogs and pigs. The bacteria can spread to humans if they come in contact with infected meat or the placenta of infected animals, or if they eat or drink unpasteurized milk or cheese.

People visiting countries at risk — those in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia — should avoid close contact with animals and should not consume raw meat, unpasteurized milk or cheese during their trip, the CDC said.

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