A Profile of Recent Upsurge of Brucellosis of Veterinary Health Care Workers Engaged in Brucella Vaccination Program in West Bengal, India
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A Profile of Recent Upsurge of Brucellosis of Veterinary Health Care Workers Engaged in Brucella Vaccination Program in West Bengal, India

Authors: Satadal Das, Parthasarathi Sengupta


With millions of livestock wealth in India including cattle, and buffaloes, the National Animal Disease Control Program targeted a massive Brucella vaccination program. As a part of it in the state of West Bengal Veterinary healthcare assistants participated in the program in 2021. The aim of this study was to elucidate the burden of brucellosis in those healthcare assistants and to pinpoint the main causes of such infection. We contacted the healthcare assistants to find out whether they were infected during the vaccination program. Our findings indicated many Veterinary healthcare assistants who participated in the program developed symptoms and signs suggestive of brucellosis. Laboratory tests indicated many confirmed Brucellosis cases. However, this may not include many asymptomatic cases. Detailed analysis revealed that in most of them there was a history of needle prick injury about a month back during the vaccination program, which was mainly due to ferocious or disturbed animals. Few also complained that they were not properly trained or proper personal protective types of equipment were not provided. All of them were treated in referral hospitals following a standard protocol of the Government Health Department and now they are followed up. Thus we conclude that proper care during the vaccination of animals should be followed, prophylactic treatment for needle prick injuries should be given, and training and supply of personal protective equipment should be monitored.

Keywords: Occupational brucellosis, needle prick injury, brucella vaccination, personal protective equipment.

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