World news – IN – How thousands in China got infected by a bacterial disease: Vaccine plant leaken


Brucellosis, a bacterial disease with flu-like symptoms, has infected more than 6,000 people in a single outbreak in northwestern China

Usually caused by contact with animals, the outbreak in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, was due to a leak at a vaccine plant, according to Lanzhou’s health commission People are still being treated at hospitals even though the outbreak happened a year ago

China’s top legislative body passed a law last month to establish protocols for biosecurity risk prevention and control, and systems to respond to risks including sudden outbreaks

Brucellosis is a zoonotic infectious disease, or a disease in animals that can spread to humans It is caused by a bacteria that affects sheep, goats, cattle, swine and even dogs and is reported in many countries

Humans generally get the disease from direct contact with infected animals through the consumption of tainted animal products such as unpasteurised milk or cheese, or through the inhalation of airborne agents

Symptoms in humans include fever and weakness, which emerge over a few weeks The mortality rate is low, though complications could lead to death Some symptoms such as joint pain may become chronic and never go away

The latest outbreak in Lanzhou was first uncovered in November 2019 when some students at the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute tested positive for brucellosis By the end of December, at least 181 people at the institute had been infected, according to the provincial health authority

The outbreak even spread to Heilongjiang province in the northeastern corner of China, where 13 people who worked at the veterinarian institute in August 2019 tested positive, state media reported

The government has tested 55,725 people in the city, of which 6,620 are positive for brucellosis as of now, the Lanzhou government said at a press conference, according to a report on Thursday by the state-owned Global Times

The outbreak originated at a biopharmaceutical factory owned by Shanghai-listed China Animal Husbandry Industry Co, according to a statement from Lanzhou’s health commission in September

The factory had used expired disinfectants in July to August 2019 to make brucellosis vaccines, leaving the bacteria in its waste gas The contaminated gas later formed aerosols that drifted downwind to the veterinary institute

About half a million infected people are reported each year around the world, with China typically accounting for tens of thousands

In 2019, China reported 44,036 cases with one death, up from 37,947 cases and zero deaths a year earlier

The very first cases reported in China were in the southwestern city of Chongqing in 1905 China saw a widespread epidemic of brucellosis in the 1950s and 1960s, according to state media

Brucellosis is more common in pastoral areas in the west and north of China It is categorized as a Class B infectious disease under a three-tier system

Last year, China reported over 10 million cases of infectious diseases including brucellosis, scarlet fever, dysentery and dengue

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Brucellosis, China, Disease outbreak, Lanzhou, Zoonosis

World news – IN – How thousands in China got infected by a bacterial disease: Vaccine plant leak
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