The clinical importance of brucellosis in veterinary surgeons in private practice
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A survey of veterinary surgeons in ordinary (private) practice covering 97% of the total 125 was made to determine the amount of illness and to assess the extent to which this was attributable to brucellosis.
19 (15%) were already diagnosed as having brucellosis and there seemed good grounds for this. 25 (20%) were complaining of symptoms at the time of the survey of whom only 7 were already diagnosed as having brucellosis. Of the 18 cases with symptoms not already diagnosed as having brucellosis, 6 were probably suffering from another disease and 2 had negative serological tests. Most of the 17 (14%) who were probably suffering from symptomatic brucellosis, had illnesses consisting of repeated episodes resembling mild influenza.
It was found essential to interview individuals personally rather than by questionnaire to determine the precise nature of their work and the nature of their illnesses.
In spite of the fact that eradication of brucellosis from cattle in Northern Ireland has reached an advanced stage, it still seems an important source of illness amongst veterinary surgeons in private practice. The survey also revealed a high incidence of skin lesions resulting from animal midwifery which was not all related to brucellosis.
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