Ivy said, The milk boy in Wyatt Earp
milkboy!

JEFF:
I have a question. Brucellosis - is there really a chance of that ever becoming a big problem in cows, and getting to humans, or is it just the idea that some cows have gotten it from the bison?

CLAYTON:
It's sort of a yes. There's always a chance, okay? The transmission likelihood of it is very real. Ironically, I wonder what the controversy is. You'll hear a lot of people say, "Well, there's no known proof that bison can give
Brucellosis to cattle." But ask the same people how did bison get Brucellosis? Do you suppose it's a disease that's always been in the animals? Well, yeah, that's a possibility. But you'll read and hear from some individuals that as the pioneers came westward up the Oregon and Mormon trails, it was their disease-ridden animals that transmitted Brucellosis to bison.

JEFF:
Yeah, the oxen and cows.

CLAYTON:
Yeah, the oxen and milk cows. So if it can go from cow to bison, why can't it go from bison back to cows? So, there's kind of a dual standard in this argument. So yes, the possibility is there.

When my parents were children, American children were really susceptible to something called "Bangs" disease. And it was so thoroughly taken care of that you don't hear about it. Another name for it was Ungulate Fever. You guys don't hear about it.

JEFF:
Cow Fever?

CLAYTON:
Yeah, but where it came from was Brucellosis. And it was children getting Brucellosis from drinking untreated milk.

I don't know how many of you have ever watched the movie Wyatt Earp, with Kevin Costner? Well, if you watched it, there's one scene in the movie� You know, this is trivia, but an example, if you ever watch it again, this little boy comes down the street carrying two buckets, and he comes in and he gives them to the older brother, who then begins to ladle it out of the bucket and dump it into a jug, and you realize it's milk.

JEFF:
Straight from the cow.

CLAYTON:
Straight from the cow. Many of these cows had Brucellosis. They shed the Brucellosis virus in their milk.

JEFF:
So it is contagious to humans - highly.

CLAYTON:
Oh yeah. It gives you a severe case of the flu, for your entire life. It goes into remission, then you feel pretty good. And then you start getting stress, and you come down with body aches and chills, and extreme fever. And it killed young children, because the fever got so hot. So they began this radical treatment throughout America. They brought the disease under control, plus they started pasteurizing milk, which helped. And then all of a sudden the disease went away. But I gave you more of an answer than you wanted, I'm sorry.

IVY:
Is the only way humans can get it is through milk?

CLAYTON:
Well, you could butcher a bison and have an open wound on your hand and contact Brucellosis. Any exposure to body fluids, not unlike HIV, and you've got it. And yet, you can consume the meat, as long as it's thoroughly cooked.

JEFF:
So what is the natural reservoir, or do they not know that much?

CLAYTON: Well, see, we don't know much about Brucellosis in the natural world. So many of the diseases that we deal with become shrouded in this exploitation and occupation of continents by European people. We don't know whether there was a natural reservoir of Brucellosis like Lyme disease - which appears to be a native disease in its reservoir of field mice. From there on out, it's a guess, because of the way we've moved people and animals.

milkboy!

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