Brucellosis is an infectious disease that results from bacteria. It can be contracted by consuming contaminated products, inhaling the bacteria, or contact with infected animals. The animals most frequently associated with it include sheep, goats, dogs, cattle, and pigs. In the United States, this infection is relatively uncommon, though it is possible, so taking the right precautions when working with animals and not consuming unpasteurized dairy products is essential. Once the infection is present, it may take months to resolve, and relapses are not uncommon. It is important to know what the symptoms are, so should they occur, patients know to quickly see their doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Body Aches And Pains
The onset of brucellosis can be insidious or sudden, with body aches and pains being among the initial symptoms. The pain may include muscle pain, neck and back pain, joint pain, and headaches. Following the initial febrile phase, brucellosis patients might experience joint and abdominal pain, back pain, and headaches. The frequency and intensity of this symptom can vary greatly. Some patients experience minor discomfort, but it is constant, where others have waves of intense discomfort that come and go. As the infection starts to clear, these discomforts dissipate. However, in the meantime, doctors may recommend certain treatments to make patients more comfortable.
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Weight loss can occur as one of the initial symptoms of brucellosis. Since this infection can affect the digestive tract, it might be difficult for patients to eat sufficient calories to maintain weight. The other symptoms and their associated discomfort may negatively impact an individual’s appetite, further causing weight loss. It is also possible to experience non-specific anorexia, causing a loss of appetite. It is possible to become dehydrated with this infection, and this might increase the lack of appetite that can contribute to weight loss. Treatments to calm symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation, might help brucellosis patients improve their appetite. Doctors might also put a focus on foods that offer diverse nutrients and higher calories, such as nuts, meats, and legumes.
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Fever is commonly one of the initial symptoms of brucellosis that patients experience. It can cause profuse sweating for some individuals. It is possible for the patient’s temperature to reach 105.8 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be life-threatening. For up to five weeks, this symptom might persist and then go away for up to two weeks before returning. The febrile phase may be undulated, meaning it comes in waves over the course of several months, or in some cases, several years. Doctors will treat fever since if the patient’s temperature gets too high, it can be dangerous. In general, any temperature exceeding 102 degrees Fahrenheit requires attention.
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When a brucellosis patient is experiencing temperature elevations and fevers, night sweats can occur at the same time. This sweating can come in waves and may include an increase in the patient’s body temperature. The sweating can become so severe the sheets and pajamas a patient is wearing can become drenched, which can make it difficult to sleep and rest. The sweating may start to decrease as the patient’s temperature does. Unfortunately, there aren’t any specific treatments that can alleviate sweating. Since this sweating is due to the infection and not the sleeping environment, many common remedies, such as light blankets and pajamas, are not effective.
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Weakness is not uncommon when an individual is experiencing this condition. It can occur with the initial symptoms, so weakness is often one of the first signs brucellosis patients experience. This infection can be harsh on the body and can increase how weak a patient might become. It might also be worsened with the difficulty sleeping due to sweating at night, or the temperature fluctuations and lack of appetite patients might experience. There are no specific treatments that can be used to help patients to feel stronger. In most cases, as the infection starts to resolve, patients find they start to feel stronger. However, it is possible for the weakness to persist even when brucellosis is completely gone.