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Sunday, March 20, 2016

How animals can give you tuberculosis.

Cattle infected with bovine tuberculosis are spreading infections to humans by the following routes ;eating unpasteurized milk products form infected herds is a prime source of infection and Living and working in close proximity to infected animals also puts humans at risk. In 2014, an estimated 9.6 million people were infected by tuberculosis, according to the World Health Organization. Potentially fatal -- 1.5 million died from it the same year -- it is a disease known to be spread from human to human. But a subset of those contracting the disease today are getting it from infected animals. Tuberculosis can spread through your food, as well as the air, via infected animals.The most common culprits are infected cattle and the most common source are their infected food products, such as milk and cheese. Cows and many other animals can harbor bovine tuberculosis (TB), a disease caused by infection with Mycobacterium bovis -- a close relative of the bacteria that cause human tuberculosis. Risk of human disease rises when animal infections aren't controlled. The existence of Bovine TB among animals and humans is not unique to the Americas. The disease is found globally, particularly in Africa and parts of Asia, and in a 2012 study by the International Livestock Research Institute, more than 7% of livestock screened globally tested positive for the disease. "[In India] people are very intimately associated with their cows ... we look after the cattle, men sleep in the area where cattle are tethered ... the proximity is very close," says Krishna Prasad Hanumanthappa from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Hanumanthappa has seen the presence of both regular and bovine TB cow milk in India. Here, however, he says ingestion is not the main concern."The practice of boiling milk has been one of the greatest safeguards we've had on transmission," says Hanumanthappa. He instead worries about the disease spreading through other means. Bacteria can be excreted through fecal matter, urine, coughs, and sneezes," he explains. In most countries in Africa, bovine TB is endemic, but experts say regular milk pasteurization and slaughterhouse meat inspections are rare. "We used to see a lot of cattle slaughtered with TB lesions in the lungs of the animals ... and locals eat these products," says Simeon Cadmus, from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His recent study of a sample of livestock workers in Nigeria found 6-7% of traders and butchers to be infected with TB of some kind. Cadmeus also worries about people rearing cattle who live closely with their cows. "They eat, drink and stay all their lives with their cattle," says Cadmeus who adds that further studies of his among herds have found 40-60% of cattle infected. "Because of poor animal health issues ... the pastoralists also get infected," he says. Read more here; http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/23/health/tuberculosis-from-animals/index.html

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