Thousands Affected By Brucellosis In China After An Accidental Leak By A Pharmaceutical Company




Image Credit – Global News


Thousands of people in north-western China had been affected by Brucellosis disease and what caused the havoc has finally been revealed. This particular disease is mostly found in livestock but affected the humans of that region surprisingly. It is revealed by the authority that a pharmaceutical factory in the area accidentally leaked the bacteria into the air last year.

The capital of Gansu province, Lanzhou was hit badly by the disease with nearly 3,245 people were infected as per the reports of the city’s health commission. Though they have not encountered any more deaths since last November after the issue was first detected, they suspect that more than 1,000 people still have the diseases.

According to the reports of the state-run Global Times, the current numbers of cases are quite higher than they initially speculated.

After much investigation, the authorities found out that the Zhongmu Lanzhou biological pharmaceutical factory caused the bacterial leak. The company was also accused of using expired sanitizers and disinfectants. The reports say that the factory vented an aerosolized version of Brucella, into the air last summer accidentally. The bacterium is known for causing brucellosis. Soon the bacteria spread to the local area through wind wrecking havoc.

The other name of the bacteria is Malta, Mediterranean, or undulant fever. According to WHO, the disease commonly affects livestock like cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, and sometimes dogs. Though human to human transmission is extremely unlikely for this disease, it has been found in humans before.

An infected person is supposed to develop symptoms like fever, weakness, weight loss, and malaise, mostly flu-like symptoms, as per WHO. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the diseases can cause some long-lasting issues like arthritis and swelling in some organs.

According to the Lanzhou Health Commission, the pharmaceutical factory was producing brucellosis vaccines for animals. The leak occurred in July and August of 2019.

Xinhua News Agency in China reports that the first infection was identified in November and December last year when it was reported at the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute.

The pharmaceutical company was found guilty by the Chinese authority and they lost the license to produce various drugs.

As per the reports of WHO, the diseases are curable with a course of antibiotics lasting for more than a week.

Before the vaccines and the antibiotics for the diseases came round in the 1980s, China experienced repeated outbreaks of Brucellosis. The diseases still cause sudden outbreaks in other parts of the world sometimes.