Published: Thu, May 16, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Iowa Officials Confirm Cases of Dog Disease That Can Infect Humans

Iowa Officials Confirm Cases of Dog Disease That Can Infect Humans

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

The disease originated from a small dog-breeding facility in Marion County, Iowa, and both the animals and the building in question are now being quarantined while the pups undergo clinical testing.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship advise all animal owners to thoroughly wash hands after handling pets-even household ones-to prevent infection.

The animals and the facility are quarantined as dogs undergo testing, the department said.

Dogs that catch the disease may show symptoms including reproductive problems (abortions, stillbirth, infertility) as well as behavioral abnormalities, lethargy and weight loss.

Canine Brucellosis infections in humans, while "rare", are possible and "cause flu-like signs (fever, night sweats, headaches, back pain)". That means veterinarians, dog breeders and kennel workers are the most likely people to be exposed to canine brucellosis, but Heinz said her staff is aware of the associated risks.

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Following confirmation of the disease's spread from state health officials, authorities warned those who'd "recently acquired a new, small breed dog" from Marion County to call their veterinarian, Fox News reported Monday.

AHeinz57 Pet Rescue bought 32 of the more than 200 dogs sold at the auction with $10,000 from an anonymous donor.

Heinz said all of the dogs in the rescue's care tested negative for the disease in the first round of tests. "We went on to notify all of the individuals that we know purchased dogs", Coppess says. Humans also get infected by close contact with the infected dogs or contact with infected birthing fluids and materials.

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.

Canine brucellosis is chronic and has no apparent cure, Dr. Edward Dubovi, a professor of virology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, told The Washington Post.

Heinz said they had to quarantine their adoption building for an additional 30 days. But the good news is, most people are not at high risk for infection. They also suggest that all animals that tested positive for the infection need to be quarantined, and either through "spayed/neutered or euthanasia".

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