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Man Hospitalized With Illness After Hog Hunting Trip 
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Location: South Carolina
Post Man Hospitalized With Illness After Hog Hunting Trip
Man Hospitalized With Illness After Hog Hunting Trip
Laurens County Man Hospitalized Days After Hog Hunting

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- An Upstate family and wildlife officials are warning hunters of a hog-bourne illness after a Laurens County man was hospitalized following a hog hunting trip.

"Had we known this, we would have never -- he would have never gone hog hunting," said Renae Hensley, whose 23-year-old son, Josh, was in Greenville Memorial Hospital on Thursday with an undiagnosed illness.

"Yesterday his fever was around 104 all day. It spiked to 105 at one point," Hensley said.

Hensley and her husband, Butch, said Josh started feeling ill on Sunday, after a hunting trip the day before, in which he and his friends killed a 360-pound hog using dogs and knives.

Renae said she and her husband suspected that a disease called brucellosis may be the cause of Josh's condition after hearing about the disease from a friend.

According to Tom Swayngham, a wildlife coordinator for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, brucellosis is carried in the bodily fluid of some wild pigs, and can be passed to humans if an animal's blood gets in a person's eyes, nose, mouth or cuts in the skin.

"It's not very common. A lot of hunters do not use rubber gloves, and we wish they would," Swayngham said.

"The best precaution is to use rubber gloves when cleaning the animal. You don't want to touch any uncooked meat, intestines, or reproductive tracts," he said.

The Hensleys said Josh and many members of the hunting party had blood from the hog on them when they came home. A photo of the group shown to News 4 shows what appears to be blood on the skin of several hunters.

While the Hensleys won't know whether their son has the disease until blood tests are finished, they said they wanted to get the word out about the disease.

"I know they're doing it for fun and it's a sport, but it's also very dangerous," Renae said.

According to the Center for Disease Control's website, symptoms of brucellosis include fever, chills, headache, low back pain, joint pain, malaise, and occasionally diarrhea.

The CDC says only about 100 to 200 cases of the disease occur in the U.S. annually.

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