The disease that has been spreading in Dhunkharka VDC of Kavre district has been identified as brucellosis, a zoonotic infection, according to Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) of the Department of Health Services (DoHS).
Brucellosis is a bacterial infection that spreads from animals to humans. “Brucellosis bacteria have infected seven people so far,” Dr Baburam Marasini, director at the EDCD, said.
According to Dr Marasini, the disease is transmitted from animals like buffalo, cattle and goats to people, mainly through unpasteurized milk and dairy products.
The disease can also spread from direct contact to animals and via air in rare cases. A person infected with brucellosis suffers from fever, joint pain and fatigue.
Dr Marasini informed that the EDCD has been consulting with Animal Health Division about precautionary measures needed to stop the disease from turning into an epidemic. “Joint efforts have been felt necessary to control a possible epidemic. Veterinary office should help in the treatment of infected animals and we will take measures to prevent further human infections,” added Dr Marasini. He, however, said that the EDCD has not yet deployed health workers at the disease-hit VDCs.
The EDCD says that veterinarians and the people who maintain close contact with animals or work at slaughterhouses and animal farms are at high risk of brucellosis infection. Infected people of the district have been receiving treatment at Banepa Hospital.