"Swineherds Disease". Now why's that then?
Brucellosis, also known as Swineherd's Disease, undulant fever, Malta Fever and Bang's Disease is a bacterial disease affecting humans and animals. There are various different Brucella species around, including B. abortus (the most common variety), B. suis, B. canis and B. ovis.
They infect humans via infected food (unpasteurised milk and cheese), through the air, and via open wounds on the patients skin. Typical patients are farmers, veterinarians, abattoir workers and other humans in close contact with animals and their various products.
In the acute form of infection, happening after less than eight weeks after exposure, the patient will experience fever, sweats, malaise, anorexia, headache, myalgia, and back pain. The undulant form, appearing ca 12 months after infection, shows up with chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and arthritis. Long term problems can include granulomatous hepatitis, arthritis, spondylitis, anemia and endocarditis. The classic mode of transmission, learned by every medical student, is french unpasteurised village cheese. This is one of the reason that some countries have installed a ban on unpasteurised cheeses from france. Sacre bleu!
Some countries have installed brucellosis eradication programs and have reduced the number of infections dramatically by giving their cattle a live vaccine. Unfortunately their continues to be a high incidence of the disease in poorer countries.
Diagnosis is by serological test, treatment can be tricky, but a mixture of Doxycycline and Rifampicin seems to be effective.
Symptoms can be easily mistaken for Leptospirosis, especially due to the fact that it affects the same clientel.
With other words: Eating unpasteurised fromage might be more tasty, but can also cause a pretty long hangover.
Thanks to Ameriwire for the Malta Fever suggestion