The Transmission

A pathway to our perspectives, announcements, and the latest animal health and food safety news.

Weekly Update: Brucellosis found in Iowa dog kennel; CA measles vaccination rates climbing in response to new laws; ASF continues to spread through Vietnam

Tuesday, May 14, 2019


Brucellosis found in Iowa dog kennel

The Iowa state veterinarian confirmed the discovery of multiple cases of canine brucellosis at a dog breeding facility in Marion County, Iowa, last week. The animals and the facilities are currently under quarantine.

Canine brucellosis is caused by the bacteria Brucella canis. The bacteria spreads through injection, aerosol, or direct mucous membrane or broken skin contact with contaminated supplies or infected tissues which could include birthing tissues and fluids, milk, blood, and semen. In canines, the bacteria can cause reproductive problems and inflammatory disease. In humans, the infection can be flu-like but may also cause serious chronic complications such as arthritis.

Humans who come into close contact with infected dogs or facilities are at the greatest risk of infection. Good biosecurity such as washing hands after handling animals should be practiced at all times.

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship


California measles vaccination rates climbing in response to new laws

Over 750 people in the United States have been diagnosed with measles this year, with 500 of those not having been vaccinated. The disease was declared eliminated in in the US in 2000, but has made a resurgence amidst falling vaccination rates due to vaccination fears. Vaccination rates in California reached a low point of 92.3% in 2013.

In response to an outbreak at Disneyland in 2014, California tightened its vaccination laws, banning parents from exempting their children from the vaccination due to personal beliefs. The only valid reason for an exemption is now medical. Only two other states, Mississippi and West Virginia, have passed similar laws.

The vaccination rate in California began to climb after the passage of the bill, reaching 96.9% in 2017. The higher vaccination rates have helped lower the amount of measles cases in California, sitting at only 42 this year. New York has had 670 cases this year alone. Legislators are also considering bills to track medical exemptions to discourage doctors from issuing fraudulent ones for patients.

Los Angeles Times



African swine fever continues to spread through Vietnam

Vietnam has culled over 1.2 million pigs since the country first discovered African swine fever in February. The virus has spread to 29 provinces including Dong Nai, which supplies 40% of the pork for Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam has a population of 95 million people and consumes most of its 30 million domestically grown pigs. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has encouraged Vietnam to declare the outbreak a national emergency.

The government released a statement that “the risk of the virus spreading further is very high and the evolution of the outbreak is complicated.” There is speculation that many provinces are not detecting outbreaks or culling infected herds properly due to lack of funding and space for burying pigs.


To stay up to date on ASF and swine disease news, check out the CAHFS swine disease global surveillance project at

James Kincheloe

James Kincheloe

James Kincheloe

James received his DVM from the University of California, Davis. He has worked as a herd veterinarian for dairy cows and a small animal veterinarian in California. Jim is interested in production animal medicine and creating protocols for farm health maintenance. He has also worked with Veterinarians Without Borders in Uganda.