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?
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
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.
Yeah, the oxen and cows.
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.
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.
Yeah, but where it came from was Brucellosis. And it was children getting
Brucellosis from drinking untreated milk.
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.
Straight from the cow.
Straight from the cow. Many of these cows had Brucellosis. They shed the
Brucellosis virus in their milk.
So it is contagious to humans - highly.
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.
Is the only way humans can get it is through milk?
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
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