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Brucellosis is a bacterial infection that can be spread from animals to humans. Humans can become infected in many ways. The most common animals that Brucellosis is found in are cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, dogs, deer or elk.  


How can I get sick?  

  • The most common way to get Brucellosis is from eating undercooked* meat or eating or drinking unpasteurized (raw, straight from the animal) milk products. If milk from sheep, cows, or goats has Brucellosis bacteria in it then it can easily be spread to humans.  
  • We can breathe in the bacteria. Especially farmers, hunters, or people working in meat packaging facilities.  
  • If you have a cut, bacteria can get inside when you touch a sick animal.  
  • Hunters need to be careful when harvesting* an animal because they can get sick by breathing the Brucellosis bacteria, eating the bacteria, or by having the bacteria enter an open cut.  

NOTE: Brucellosis has not been found in Elk or Deer in Nevada but may be found in these species while hunting in other states. 

Symptoms in humans:  

Brucellosis symptoms can show after a few days to months after infection*.  

  • Fever (when your body gets a little hotter than normal) 
  • Chills (feeling of being cold and shivering) 
  • Not feeling hungry 
  • Sweats 
  • Weakness 
  • Feeling very tired 
  • Joint or muscle pain 
  • Headache 
  • Arthritis*

Symptoms can disappear and return over time. Some people may have symptoms for a long time even after treatment.  

What can I do to stay healthy? 

  • Do not eat undercooked* meat and make sure you cook meat to the proper temperature. 

  • Do not eat or drink unpasteurized (raw, straight from the animal) milk products such as milk, cheese or ice cream.  
  • Hunters and farmers should protect themselves when harvesting* or field dressing animals such as wearing gloves, aprons, and goggles. 


  • Arthritis: When places where bones meet get painful, swollen, and stiff.
  • Harvesting an animal: The process of removing an animal to be used for meat or fur.
  • Infection: When germs enter your body and begin to increase.
  • Undercooked: Cooking food less than the recommended time or temperature.

Learn About Other Diseases

Click below to learn more about the many different diseases that can spread between animals and humans.