Undulant fever
An infectious disease due to the bacteria Brucella that characteristically causes rising and falling fevers, sweats, malaise, weakness, anorexia, headache, myalgia (muscle pain) and back pain. The disease is called undulant fever because the fever is typically undulant, rising and falling like a wave. It is also called brucellosis after its bacterial cause. The disease is transmitted through contaminated and untreated milk and milk products and by direct contact with infected animals (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camels, buffaloes, wild ruminants and, very recently, seals), and animal carcasses. Transmission can be through abrasions of the skin from handling infected animals. In the US, infection occurs more frequently by ingesting contaminated milk and dairy products. Groups at elevated risk include abattoir (slaughterhouse) workers, meat inspectors, animal handlers, veterinarians, and laboratory workers. The incubation period of brucellosis is usually one to three weeks, but sometimes may be several months after exposure. The symptoms are like those with many other febrile diseases, but with a marked effect on the musculoskeletal system evidenced by generalized aches and pains and associated with fatigue, prostration and mental depression. Urogenital symptoms may dominate the clinical presentation in some patients. The duration of the disease can vary from a few weeks to many months. Undulant fever (brucellosis) is an extremely variable disease. In the acute form (less than 8 weeks from the onset of illness), the features are nonspecific and "flu-like." In the undulant form (8 weeks to a year after onset), the symptoms include undulant fevers, arthritis, and orchiepididymitis (inflammation of the testis and epididymis) in young males. In the chronic form (more than a year after onset), symptoms may include chronic fatigue syndrome-like, depressive episodes. The sequelae (long-term consequences) of undulant fever (brucellosis) are also very variable. They may include granulomatous hepatitis, arthritis, spondylitis, anemia, leukopenia (low white blood cells), thrombocytopenia (low platelets), meningitis, uveitis (inflammation of the uvea of the eye), optic neuritis (inflammation of the nerve to the retina of the eye), and endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart, heart valves and great blood vessels).

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un·du·lant fever 'ən-jə-lənt-, 'ən-d(y)ə- n BRUCELLOSIS (a)

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brucellosis.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • undulant fever — n. a persistent form of brucellosis, transmitted to people from lower, esp. domestic, animals, or their products, and characterized by an undulating, or recurrent, fever, sweating, and pains in the joints …   English World dictionary

  • undulant fever — malta fever malta fever n. (Med.) An infectious disease contracted from meat or milk products from infected domestic animals; called also {brucellosis} and {undulant fever}. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • undulant fever — noun infectious bacterial disease of human beings transmitted by contact with infected animals or infected meat or milk products; characterized by fever and headache • Syn: ↑brucellosis, ↑Malta fever, ↑Gibraltar fever, ↑Rock fever, ↑Mediterranean …   Useful english dictionary

  • undulant fever — /ˈʌndʒələnt fivə/ (say unjuhluhnt feevuh) noun an irregular, relapsing fever, with swelling of joints, spleen, and rheumatic pains, caused by Brucella melitensis ingested in raw milk of diseased cows and goats; Malta fever; Mediterranean fever;… …   Australian English dictionary

  • undulant fever — noun Date: 1896 a persistent human brucellosis marked especially by remittent fever, weakness, headache, chills, and weight loss and contracted by contact with infected domestic animals or consumption of their products …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • undulant fever — noun brucellosis in humans. Origin C19: so named because of the intermittent fever associated with the disease …   English new terms dictionary

  • undulant fever — Pathol. brucellosis. [1895 1900] * * * …   Universalium

  • undulant fever — noun brucellosis …   Wiktionary

  • undulant fever — heat that comes in waves …   English contemporary dictionary

  • undulant fever — see brucellosis …   The new mediacal dictionary

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