As the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, the health commission of Lanzhou City in China announced an outbreak of brucellosis disease which was caused due to a leak in a biopharmaceutical company last year.  

This disease has infected over 3,000 people in China so far. Apparently, this infection is contracted by staying in close contact with the livestock, carrying the bacteria Brucella. 

What is Brucellosis?

Brucellosis or Malta fever or Mediterranean fever is a bacterial disease that mostly infects cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs. Humans can get infected by this disease by being in direct contact with these livestock animals. There can also be a human to human transmission of this infection if a person eats the infected food, such as infected and unpasteurized milk or cheese or inhaling the airborne agents of the disease. 


What are the symptoms of this disease? 

Symptoms of this disease include fever, sweats, malaise, anorexia, headache and muscle pain. There are some symptoms that might eventually disappear, but some can also stay forever such as recurrent fevers, arthritis, swelling of the testicles and scrotum area, swelling of the heart, neurologic symptoms, chronic fatigue, depression and swelling of the liver or spleen. 

In rare cases, this disease can also serious symptoms such as infertility in men, encephalitis and meningitis. 

South China Morning Post

How and when did the outbreak happen in China? 

The leak took place last year between the month of July and August while producing veterinary vaccinations for this disease. As reports mention, outdated disinfectants and sanitizers were used during the production of Brucella vaccines for animal use. This caused the waste gas to leak from the factory which contained this bacteria. 

The source of infection occurred at the biopharmaceutical company last year, named Zhongmu Lanzhou.