Can brucellosis be prevented?
Vaccination of cattle with brucellosis vaccine (RB51) works by producing an immune response that increases the animals resistance to the disease. There is no human vaccine.
Brucellosis in humans can be prevented by careful attention to the consumption of cooked meats and dairy goods. Consuming pasteurized milk ensures it will be safe due to the bad bacteria being destroyed through a heating process.
Laboratory workers or hunters should take precautions when handling animals. Wearing rubber gloves, gowns, and goggles will keep infectious bacteria from getting into skin wounds or eyes.
Who is at risk of developing brucellosis?
Those at risk of developing brucellosis include:
- People who consume unpasteurized dairy products
- Laboratory technicians working with the bacteria
- Workers in meat-packing plants
- Workers in slaughterhouses
- Employees working with animals or in close contact with animal excretions
- Hunters with wounds who touch an infected animal, who eat undercooked meat, or who breathe in bacteria while preserving the meat
Commonly hunted animals which may be infected include wild hogs, moose, bison, and elk.