Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - August 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
Tomball man contracts brucellosis from feral hogs
Houston County Courier - August 2009
According to an article distributed by the Texas Department State Health Services, a 76-year-old Tomball man, James Belcher developed symptoms earlier this year that led to a diagnoses of brucellosis.
Belcher reportedly picked up the disease from feral hogs that have rooted through parts of his property in Cherokee County.
Belcher's brucellosis was traced to him cleaning a feral hog in March. Belcher and his son butchered one of the many feral hogs they had shot or trapped.
Authorities said Belcher faces several more months of treatment for the disease, which is caused by a bacteria linked to feral hogs.
An estimated 2 million of the wild creatures roam Texas.
The Houston Chronicle reported Thursday that about 10 percent of Texas feral hogs test positive for brucellosis bacteria, but the rate in eastern parts of the state has been known to be higher. The disease can cause pregnant animals to prematurely abort their young.
In humans, brucellosis can cause flulike symptoms such as fever, chills, aching muscles, intense joint pain, nausea and fatigue. Human fatalities are rare.
Belcher was diagnosed with brucellosis following surgery for an aortic aneurysm.
A physician with experience dealing in brucellosis in South America helped diagnose Belcher.