What is the long-term outlook for people with brucellosis?

The long-term outlook (prognosis) for most people with brucellosis is generally very good. With early treatment (within the first few months of onset), it is very curable with a low risk of relapse or chronic disease.

It is not uncommon for a person to have recurrence of symptoms, and sometimes this evolves into chronic brucellosis, which may be progressive if untreated. Chronic brucellosis may continue to trouble an affected person for as long as 25 years, but this is reportedly quite rare. The likelihood of recurrence is higher in people who are not treated, or who are not treated adequately. However, recurrence is possible even in properly treated people.

The overall mortality rate in both acute and chronic cases is very low - probably less than 2%. When death occurs, it is usually due to either the rare instance of associated endocarditis, or severe neurological involvement (often as a complication of endocarditis). The prognosis is known to be poor for people with brucellosis who present with congestive heart failure due to endocarditis. In these cases, the mortality rate is close to 85%.

You can view additional information about the prognosis for people with brucellosis on Medscape's Web site.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Where To Start

United States Department of Agriculture

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a fact sheet about Brucellosis provided by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Click on the link to view this fact sheet.

Last updated on 04-27-20

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