General Overview: Although rare in the United States,
brucella is extremely dangerous, especially if utilized as a
biological agent, as there is currently no human vaccine.
The areas listed as "High Risk" for the contraction of
naturally-occurring brucella are those countries in the
Mediterranean locale, Eastern Europe, South America, the Middle
East, Africa and the Caribbean.
The most common way to be infected with brucella is through the
ingestion of contaminated milk products. Thus, a
particular risk to tourists are "village cheeses" - or
unpasteurized cheeses - from the high-risk locations mentioned
above. In addition to ingestion, brucella
can also be contracted thorough inhalation or skin wounds.
Although rare, documented cases of person-to-person transmission
have been reported.