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Over 6, 000 people in China's Lanzhou test positive for brucellosis, state media says

A total of 6,620 people in Lanzhou, Gansu province, have been infected with a bacteria that could cause Mediterranean fever following an accident in a vaccine factory last year, the city government said on Thursday.

Humans get brucellosis with flu-like symptoms through direct contact with infected animals, by eating or drinking contaminated animal products, or by inhaling airborne agents, according to the World Health Organization. Some symptoms can become chronic and never go away.

According to a statement from Lanzhou’s health commission dated September, the outbreak originated at a biopharmaceutical factory owned by China Animal Husbandry Industry Co.

The factory used expired disinfectants during July to August 2019 to manufacture brucellosis vaccines, leaving the bacteria in its polluted waste gas, it said, citing the results from an official investigation.

The contaminated waste gas later formed aerosols, which were carried by wind down to the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, where the outbreak was first recorded in November last year, the health commission said.

The brucellosis vaccine production workshop was shut down in December last year and was dismantled in October, according to Global Times.


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