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Thousands of People Tests Positive For Bacterial Decease In China After Leak From Chinese Biopharma Plant

Thousands Test Positive in China
Thousands Test Positive in China (Representational Image)

Over 3000 people are reportedly said to be infected with a bacterial disease known as ‘Malta fever’ after a ‘lab leak’ last year as per health officials. This outbreak is learned to have originated from the Zhongmu Lanzhou biological pharmaceutical factory, where now nearly 3,245 people have reported sick with Malta fever, CNN reported. 

To date, the authorities have tested 21,847 people out of the city’s 2.9 million population. On the bright side, however, no fatalities have been recorded from this bacterial infection leak. 

This bacterial infection spread has occurred along with northwest China’s Lanzhou city. People can contract ‘brucellosis’, also known as Malta fever or Mediterranean fever, by coming into contact with livestock such as sheep, goats, cows or camels infected with the Brucella bacteria, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Symptoms of this malta fever include fevers, joint pain, and headaches. 

Unlike the coronavirus infection, in this case, human to human transmission is extremely rare and most here in the city were infected after consuming food containing the bacteria or breathing it from the air. 

This lab leak which has caused over 3000 persons being infected occurred somewhere last year between July and late August, when the factory which was producing Brucella vaccines for animal use, reportedly used expired disinfectants and sanitizers, and not all bacteria were killed in the waste gas.

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This ended up in the bacteria floating in the air and later the first case of the infection was reported somewhere around November at the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute.

From the research institute itself, nearly 20 students and faculty members also tested positive for the bacterial infection. 

The factory which was the cause of this spread had its license revoked for its brucellosis vaccine production, according to the state authorities. Also, compensation for patients due to this lab-leak has also begun in batches from late last year. 

Till now the spread continues to restricted to be the province area and has not become a national worry for the country. 

The brucellosis bacterial infection was common in China in the 1980s, however, its cases had declined to post the emergence of vaccines and better disease prevention and control. Certain outbreaks have although occurred in past, the last in 2008, which affected around 1000 people.

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