There have been three reported cases of Brucella canis infection in the UK, a bacterial infection commonly found in dogs. This disease can cause pain, lameness, and infertility in canines. While it is usually mild in humans, it can potentially result in meningitis and septicemia. The first person to be diagnosed with the infection in the UK was Wendy Hayes, who contracted it from her rescue dog during birthing fluids. She was forced to put down her family dogs as a result.
Another person with the infection was identified through routine testing, although they did not exhibit any symptoms. It is believed that the growing number of cases of Brucella canis infection in dogs is linked to dogs imported from Eastern Europe to the UK. Wendi Shepherd, from the UKHSA, has stated that the overall risk to the UK population is relatively low, even for those with close contact with an infected dog.
Globally, Brucella canis infections in humans have generally been mild. However, individuals with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, or young children may be more susceptible to experiencing more severe infections. While there have been no fatal cases reported in humans, symptoms can include fever, headaches, weight loss, and in severe cases, meningitis, septicemia, and arthritis.
It is important to note that symptoms of the infection may take years to manifest and could recur over several years. While there have been no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission, there is a possibility of transmission through blood transfusion. It is crucial for dog owners to be aware of the symptoms and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the infection.
Source: Hindustan Times, The Independent