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Bacterial outbreak in China.

Image Credit: Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock

In NorthWest China, a pharmaceutical company, Zhongmu Lanzhou accidentally leaked a type of bacteria that has already infected 3,245 people. The bacteria, which is a version of the genus, Brucella, was vented into the air last summer by mistake, due to the use of expired hand sanitizers. Chinese authorities reported the leak last month, due to the scale of the problem. It is believed that 8 factory workers have been disciplined.

The leaked bacteria causes brucellosis, a contagious disease that affects several parts of the body. Brucellosis is also called Mediterranean fever or Malta fever. It is spread by close contact with an infected animal, or consumption of food contaminated with the bacteria. So far, there has been no reports of person-to-person transmission.

If left untreated, Brucellosis can cause infertility in men, encephalitis, arthritis or meningitis. Chronic Brucellosis can lead to complications in several organs, and symptoms may persist for several months or years. The fatality rate of this disease is 5%.

Common symptoms of Brucellosis are : fever, joint pain, fatigue, sweats or chills, weight loss, headache, respiratory problems and headaches.

Earlier this year, the company had its brucellosis vaccine production licence revoked by Chinese authorities.

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