18 Sep, 2020 06:45 am

Thousands infected in bacterial outbreak after factory leak in China

The Health Commission of Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province, confirmed that 3,245 people had contracted the disease brucellosis -- caused by contact with livestock carrying the bacteria brucella. Another 1,401 people have tested as preliminarily positive.

The disease, also known as Malta fever or Mediterranean fever, can cause symptoms including headaches, muscle pain, fever and fatigue.People at the institute began reporting infections in November.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 said outbreak stemmed from a leak at the Zhongmu Lanzhou biological pharmaceutical factory, which occurred between late July to late August last year.

While producing Brucella vaccines for animal use, the factory used expired disinfectants and sanitisers -- meaning not all bacteria were eradicated in the waste gas.This contaminated waste gas formed aerosols that contained the bacteria -- and leaked into the air, carried by wind down to the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, where the outbreak first hit.

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