China Grapples With Brucellosis Outbreak Linked To A Factory Leak After COVID19 Pandemic

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China is fighting another health crisis as thousands of people have been diagnosed with a bacterial disease called Brucellosis. Experts have revealed that the outbreak is the result of a leak at the biopharmaceutical company. This leak took place between late July and August in 2019. Around 3245 people in Gansu Province in northwest China have been infected with the disease. While nearly 1402 people have been tested positive for Brucellosis. The health commission of Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province has informed that 21847 people out of 2.9 million population have been tested so far. However, No deaths have been reported yet.

Experts have said that Brucellosis is known as Malta fever or Mediterranean fever. This is has been recognized as a human ailment for the first time on the islands of Malta. Health experts have said that it occurs due to close contact with animals who carry bacteria called Brucella like sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs. The disease can cause symptoms like headache, fever, muscle pain, and fatigue. Scientists say that some of the symptoms of the disease might subside with time, however, certain symptoms can turn chronic like arthritis, or swelling in certain organs. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that there are diverse species of Brucella present in various animals. The CDC has said that the human case of Brucellosis is not prevalent in the US. There had been nearly 115 cases of human Brucellosis in 2010 with Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida having the maximum number of cases.

Health experts have said that people can be infected with the disease by eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy products. The officials from the CDC have informed that if the milk from the infected animal is not pasteurized, the infection will spread to people who consume contaminated milk or other dairy products. Pasteurization is a process when raw milk is heated to a high temperature for short period, it kills all the germs, and bacteria present in the milk. Health officials have warned people saying, people can be infected with the disease through breathing as well. They have said that people who are working in the laboratories and slaughterhouses are at a higher risk. Health authorities informed that the factory had used expired disinfectants and sanitizers while producing a vaccine for Brucella, so bacteria were not completed wiped out from the waste gas. The waste gas formed an aerosol contaminated with bacteria, later it was mixed in the air and caused an outbreak.


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