Hemorrhagic septicemia is a severe bacterial disease caused by certain strains of Pasteurella multicoda. It primarily affects cattle and water buffalo, but infrequently affects pigs, small ruminants, and other hoof-stock. It is rapidly fatal. The disease is spread through contact with infected animals, contaminated clothing, equipment, and through ingestion or inhalation of the bacteria. Animals under stress or with poor body condition are believed to be more susceptible to P. multicoda infection.
Africa, Asia, and some countries in southern Europe and the Middle East. The United States and Canada are considered free of Hemorrhagic septicemia.
There have been no reported cases of humans becoming infected with P. multicoda. However, humans are susceptible to other Pasteurella species, so appropriate precautions should be taken when handling infected animals.
Death from Hemorrhagic septicemia often occurs in 8 to 24 hours, and treatment from antibiotics is only effective when administered early. Any cow suspected of having Hemorrhagic septicemia should be reported to the State Veterinarians or USDA Area Veterinarian in Charge immediately.
Vaccination for Hemorrhagic septicemia is available. Maintaining herds in good physical condition and barring the entry of animals of unknown health status will help prevent the introduction of Hemorrhagic septicemia into a herd.