The cause: A bacterium, Brucella
How you get it: By exposure to infected animals like cattle, goats, camels dogs and pigs, or by eating or drinking animal products, including unpasteurized milk and cheeses. Farmers and veterinarians can also be exposed when coming into contact with the placenta while birthing infected livestock.
The symptoms: Similar to symptoms of the flu, including fever, chills, headache, fatigue and joint, abdominal or back pain
The treatment: A combination of antibiotics, including doxycycline or streptomycin, for several weeks or even months to ensure the bacteria are completely eliminated. Even with proper treatment, the disease relapses in 5% to 10% of cases; like tuberculosis, it can come back after a long period of time.
The prognosis: Rarely fatal, but when the disease causes complications, such as abscesses or infection of organs, surgery to remove the infected areas might be necessary
Did you know? Areas where people are at highest risk of infection include Mediterranean countries like Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey and North Africa. In the U.S. about 100 to 200 people are infected each year.