Disease That Can Spread From Dogs To Humans Found In Iowa

Multiple cases of disease that can be transmitted from dogs to humans confirmed in Iowa

Iowa state officials are warning the public about "canine brucellosis", a bacterial disease that can spread from dogs to humans.

In Iowa, the confirmed cases of canine brucellosis originated at a commercial breeding facility in Marion County, at which small dogs are bred. It can also be transferred to human beings if people come in contact with animal tissue, blood, urine, vaginal excretions, aborted fetuses, or placentas from infected dogs. The disease, which can be spread through reproductive fluids, is believed to only infect dogs and humans.

Human infections with Brucella canis are rare, according to a statement from Iowa Department of Agriculture, but they have been known to happen-usually when a person comes into direct contact with reproductive fluids from an infected animal. The CDC noted that it "will probably remain a threat to human health and animal welfare unless stronger intervention measures are implemented".

The disease can survive for months but can be eliminated with heat and disinfectants. Infected dogs may appear to be healthy - especially if they've been treated recently with antibiotics - which can skew results and cause sick canines to test negative for the disease.

Dogs affected by canine Brucellosis often suffer from infertility, stillbirths, and even spontaneous abortions, according to the public health department. But the good news is, most people are not at high risk for infection. AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport said a dog breeder in Knoxville, Iowa had pets that tested positive for the infection. "Therefore, we have closed our shelter building for the next 30 days", the adoption service wrote in a Facebook post. In people, the disease can cause flu-like symptoms, fevers, joint pain, and can also involve the nervous system, eyes or heart.

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Despite the control of rabies in domestic dogs in the U.S., each year interactions with suspect animals result in the need to observe or test hundreds of thousands of animals and to administer rabies postexposure prophylaxis to 30,000 to 60,000 persons, says the CDC.

"This is just one more reason to ADOPT and not SHOP!"

In some Brucellosis cases, sufferers may develop depression or neurologic symptoms.

Health officials say the disease is most commonly reported in breeding facilities, where staff are trained to recognize and test for it.

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