Symptoms of brucellosis usually appear within two weeks of infection. Symptoms can appear from five days to several months after infection.
In the early stage, symptoms may include:
- Muscle pain
- Severe headache and backache
Nausea, vomiting, and
- Abdominal fullness or discomfort
- Joint pain
As it progresses, brucellosis causes a
fever (104° F to 105° F). This fever occurs in the evening along with severe sweating. It becomes normal or near normal in the morning, and usually begins again at night.
This on and off fever usually lasts 1 to 5 weeks. After 5 weeks, symptoms usually improve or disappear for two days to two weeks. Then, the fever returns. In some patients, this fever returns only once. In others, the disease becomes chronic, and the fever returns, lessens, and then returns again over months or years.
In later stages, brucellosis can cause:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
Patients usually recover within 2 to 5 weeks. Rarely, complications can develop. These may include:
- Abscesses within the liver or spleen
- Enlargement of the liver, spleen, or lymph nodes
Inflammation and infection of organs in the body, such as:
- Scrotal swelling
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Brucellosis is also believed to cause a high rate of
during early pregnancy in infected women.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your doctor may need to test your bodily fluids. This can be done with:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Bone marrow tests
- Spinal fluid tests
- Tissue tests
Your doctor may need pictures of your bodily structures. This can be done with:
Many patients recover from brucellosis on their own. However, early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the risk of complications and infection. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
Your doctor may prescribe one or more antibiotics to control and prevent brucellosis. Antibiotics are given for up to six weeks.
Surgery may be needed in patients with abscesses or an infection that does not respond to antibiotics.