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Dog disease humans can catch confirmed in Iowa

Humans can experience flu-like symptoms and joint pain, but the risk of contracting it is very low.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Officials say a dog disease that can be passed to humans has been confirmed in Iowa.

The state veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Kaisand, says several cases of canine brucellosis have been confirmed at a commercial breeding facility for small dogs in Marion County.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says it is notifying people who have custody of the exposed dogs. Both the animals and the facilities are quarantined while the dogs undergo testing.

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Signs of the disease in a dog include infertility, spontaneous abortions and stillbirths. State health officials say symptoms for humans include fever, sweats, headache, joint pain and weakness.

The department says the threat to most pet owners is very low. Dog breeders, veterinary staff and anyone who comes in contact with blood, tissues and fluids during the birthing process may be at higher risk.

According to a fact sheet from the University of Iowa, humans with canine brucellosis can experience flu-like signs such as fever, night sweats, headaches and back pain. Joint pain and reoccurring fevers could occur with long-term infection. In rare cases, brucellosis can hit the nervous system, eyes or heart.

TEGNA Staff contributed to this report.

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