Animal welfare service discovers contagious bacteria in cattle

March 17, 2015
2 Comments

Costa Rica’s National Animal Health Service, SENASA, reported a small outbreak of the contagious bacteria brucellosis in Turrialba, Cartago on Monday. The bacteria can affect people as well as animals.

After surveying 348 cows across 19 farms in the area around last week’s volcanic eruptions, the agency euthanized 44 infected cows from three different farms.

The outbreak was not related to the explosions at Turrialba Volcano on March 12 and 13, although the chance of spreading the bacteria can increase when cattle from different farms are corralled together during an eruption.

People can become infected with brucellosis after consuming tainted dairy products or working in a slaughterhouse where infected meat is handled. As of this writing, there have not been any reports of infected beef or dairy products related to the outbreak.

Symptoms of infection include fever, muscle and joint pain, anorexia and fatigue, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. Death from brucellosis is rare, occurring in not more than 2 percent of cases, according to the CDC.

In livestock, the bacteria can cause miscarriages and low birth rates.

“Controlling brucellosis is extremely important for SENASA, not only because of how it affects cattle and the economic implications, but also because SENASA’s top priority is public health,” the animal health agency’s director Bernardo Jaen said in a statement.

The bacteria is common in Costa Rica and SENASA has had a brucellosis surveillance program since the 1970s.

Since Turrialba Volcano started erupting in October 2014, SENASA has increased its surveillance efforts of livestock living within three kilometers of the crater.

 

You may be interested

Pregnant sloth rescued after falling from a tree
Sloth watch
289 views
Sloth watch
289 views

Pregnant sloth rescued after falling from a tree

The Tico Times - October 20, 2017

Vet tech Larissa Calis of the nonprofit Kids Saving the Rainforest in Manuel Antonio, on Costa Rica's Central Pacific coast, wrote…

New country club launches reforestation program
Santa Ana
277 views
Santa Ana
277 views

New country club launches reforestation program

The Tico Times - October 20, 2017

Those who live in the hustle and bustle of Costa Rica's cities may associate reforestation and biological connectivity with the…

A reader’s glimpse of Monteverde recovery
Photos & Video
6380 views
Photos & Video
6380 views

A reader’s glimpse of Monteverde recovery

Katherine Stanley - October 19, 2017

Tico Times reader Margaret Burton wrote to us from the United States to share this photo taken by her brother-in-law Michael…