Dog disease that can be passed to humans confirmed in Iowa

Leslie Hanson
May 14, 2019

Iowa has confirmed multiple cases of a disease that can be transmitted from dogs to humans and can pose numerous health risks ranging from fever to exhaustion and inflammation of lymph nodes.

"We are in the process of notifying the individuals who have custody of the exposed dogs", a Friday news release from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship reads.

The animals and the facility are quarantined as dogs undergo testing, the department said. In dogs, numerous symptoms are related to the reproductive system, with an increased risk of stillbirths and miscarriages as well as infertility.

Dealing with fever, night sweats, headaches, back pain, and other flu-like symptoms?

Brucellosis is considered to be highly contagious, and the bacteria that cause it can be spread between animals and humans not only by consuming uncooked or undercooked meat (obviously not a concern with pet dogs) but also through contact with any bodily fluids. She says the case serves as a reminder of how it's always important to practice good biosecurity, like thoroughly washing your hands after handling animals, even household pets. "The disease can also return and may become chronic".


Heinz said the most hard thing about this disease is dogs can't get rid of it like humans can and usually have to be put down to prevent the spread to other dogs or humans.

While it is rarely reported in humans, canine brucellosis is zoonotic - meaning it can infect people through contaminated blood, urine, milk or other reproductive fluids.

"That's why if we do have a positive dog, it has to be put down", Amy Heinz, founder and executive director of Iowa-based AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport, said in an interview.

"We have not received any results yet", the organization posted on Facebook.

Heinz said they had to quarantine their adoption building for an additional 30 days. Young children and people with weakened immune systems are at particular risk for complications, and Iowa State University reports the disease could cause a woman to miscarry or give birth prematurely.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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