China: Over 3000 test positive for brucellosis after leak at biopharmaceutical factory

The Lanzhou Health Commission has confirmed that 3,245 patients have been infected with brucellosis

The Lanzhou Health Commission has confirmed that 3,245 patients have been infected with brucellosis

Over 3000 people in north-east China have tested positive for bacterial disease in an outbreak caused by a leak at a biopharmaceutical company past year, authorities said on Tuesday.

Chinese authorities found a biopharmaceutical plant had used expired disinfectant in its production of Brucella vaccines for animals between July and August previous year, and the bacteria was not eradicated in its factory exhaust.

According to a statement by the Lanzhou Health authorities said there was no evidence of person-to-person transmission so far.

Authorities have evaluated an overall of 21,847 individuals in the Gansu province, which has a population of 2.9 million, and another 1,401 individuals have initial evaluated favorable. Brucellosis is often caused by contact with livestock carrying the brucella bacteria.

The incident took place between late July to late August in 2019, said Lanzhou's Health Commission.

Human-to-human transmission is extremely rare, according to the CDC.

The contaminated waste gas leaked into the air, and with the wind, it went to the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, where the outbreak first hit. Around 200 people at the veterinary institute contracted the disease by December past year.

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Animals that are most commonly infected include sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, and dogs, among others. By the end of December, at least 181 people at the institute had been infected with brucellosis, according to Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua.

The commission said the outbreak had been caused by "contaminated exhaust" from a factory in Lanzhou producing vaccines for animals.

Provincial and municipal officials launched an investigation and by January, authorities revoked vaccine production licences for the factory and withdrew product approval numbers for the two brucellosis vaccines it had been working on.

In February, the factory stated it "significantly punished" 8 individuals who were considered responsible for the leakage and issued an apology.

Local authorities said that compensation for patients would start in batches as of next month.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday, September 16, announced 126 new cases of Covid-19 in the country, taking to the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 56,604.

It is extremely rare in the United Kingdom, according to the NHS, but there have been a smattering of brucellosis outbreaks around the world in the past few decades.

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