Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria from the genus Brucella. It is an infection that affects mainly animals, including goats, sheep, camels, pigs, elk, deer, cattle, and dogs. Humans develop brucellosis when they come in contact with contaminated animals or animal products. The symptoms of brucellosis often resemble a flu-like illness.
Human brucellosis is a disease that is found worldwide, and it has an annual occurrence rate of more than 500,000 cases. Brucellosis tends to occur more commonly in regions with less established animal-disease-control programs and in areas where public-health initiatives may be less effective. High-risk areas include the Mediterranean Basin (Portugal, Spain, Southern France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and North Africa), South and Central America, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. In the United States, brucellosis is much less common, with only 100-200 human cases reported each year. This decrease in cases in the United States is felt to be due to effective animal vaccination programs and milk pasteurization.
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