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The Glanders Menace

Caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei, glanders is a serious disease in horses that has fortunately not been prevalent in North America since the 1930s. However, in the past year glanders has made headlines in Germany and Brazil. A long-established disease Glanders is an ancient disease known throughout history and first described by early Greek and Roman writers including Aristotle. It was a major problem for cavalry horses because it is highly contagious, spreading from one horse to another by tiny droplets of pus or mucus shot into the air when the horse coughs, by direct contact with the pus at feeding troughs, or by physical contact between animals. While most commonly seen in horses, donkeys, and mules, glanders can also be caught by camels, guinea pigs, and hamsters. Carnivores including wild cats, bears, wolves, and dogs may catch glanders by eating infected meat. It can also be transmitted to…

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