Twenty-seven people in Bulgaria’s Rila area infected with brucellosis

A further five people in the town of Rila in Bulgaria had been found to be infected with brucellosis, bringing the total in the area to 27, local authorities said on August 11.

The regional governor of Kyustendil, Viktor Yanev, said that new findings by the Food Safety Agency and the health inspectorate were that there were 176 infected animals, including two goats the Rila Monastery.

These goats had been donated and all other animals at the monastery had tested negative, Yanev said.

Brucellosis, also known as Crimean Fever, Gibraltar Fever, Malta Fever and Mediterranean Fever is transmitted either by ingestion of unpasteurised milk, soft cheese or undercooked meat from infected animals, and by occupational exposure of laboratory workers, veterinarians, and slaughterhouse workers.

A ban was to be introduced on movement and slaughter for consumption of animals in the area of Rila Monastery, especially at weekends, when thousands of pilgrims are expected for the Christian festival of the Assumption.

Earlier, on August 7, local authorities announced that 80 goats in the town of Rila were being euthanised because of the brucellosis outbreak. After euthanasia, the carcases were incinerated at a facility in the town of Shoumen.

On August 11, it was announced that brucellosis had been found in the village of Rakita in the Pleven district. Checks were carried out in the village after it emerged that some of the animals came from the Rila area.

Steps had been taken by police and the regional directorate for food safety to restrict the movement of animals, local authorities said. Transport of farm animals from the village had been banned and infected animals would be euthanised and their owners compensated.

Professor Todor Kantardzhiev, director of the National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases in Sofia, told Bulgarian National Radio that in order to prevent new outbreaks, buying cheaper animals of Greece, Serbia, Macedonia and Turkey should be stopped.



The Sofia Globe staff

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