Disease That Can Spread From Dogs To Humans Discovered In Iowa

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 14, 2019

As NBC News reports, canine brucellosis was detected in what is being described as a "commercial breeding facility" in the state.

However, some diseases can jump between dogs and humans, and one such illness was just confirmed in Iowa.

While the risk of pet owners becoming infected with the disease is low, the health agency says those who work closely with dogs - like breeders and veterinary staff - "face an increased risk since they may be exposed to blood, tissues and fluids associated with the birthing process".

According to a fact sheet released by the Iowa State University, the disease is spread through direct contact or exposure to infected animal fluids or by ingesting the bacteria.

The department recommends that those who believe they might have come in contact with an infected or exposed dog, visit their primary care physician.

They also advised anyone who recently bought a small breed dog from Marion County to check in with their pet's veterinarian.

The statement also encouraged people to thoroughly wash their hands "after handling animals - even household pets".

Canine brucellosis is a bacterial disease that can cause reproductive failure in dogs and fever, chills, fatigue and inflammation of lymph nodes in humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted. Infections in humans can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches and back pain but are rare, as are cases involving infection of the human nervous system, eyes or heart, according to the university. But the good news is, most people are not at high risk for infection.

Amy Heinz, with De Soto-based organization AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport, said 31 dogs are quarantined at her facility. "Therefore, we have closed our shelter building for the next 30 days".

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported that Canine Brucellosis is "rarely reported in humans", but still offered suggestions on how to avoid the disease.

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