- Thousands of citizens in China have tested positive for a bacterial disease following a leak at a lab
- A government-owned plant manufacturing animal vaccines experienced the leak last year
- Now, officials in Lanzhou say that over 3 000 people have contracted the disease
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The effects of a leak at a government-owned biopharmaceutical plant specialising in animal vaccines are beginning to emerge.
An outbreak of a bacterial disease linked to the incident has seen thousands testing positive in northwest China.
Health officials in Lanzhou say that brucellosis, a disease caused by contact with infected animals, has been contracted by 3 245.
A further 1 401 have also tested for early signs of the disease but authorities have denied transmission through people can be proven.
eNCA reports that Chinese officials had found that an expired disinfectant had been used by the plant between July and August when producing the Brucella vaccines.
This means that the bacteria had not been eradicated by the factory before the vaccines had gone on to be used for animals.
It was further found that contaminated gas from the factory had formed aerosols containing the bacteria.
The bacteria were then spread by wind to the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute. This leak had gone on to infect nearly 200 workers in December 2019.
Xinhua reported that over 20 Lanzhou University students and faculty staff members had tested positive for the disease.
A local health authority recently commented that domestic animals, including sheep, cattle and pigs, were the most common spreaders of this bacteria.
Commenting on the situation, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that person-to-person transmission of the bacteria is 'extremely rare'.
However, the entity warned that some symptoms may continue to reoccur and some may never go away.
Earlier, it was reported that Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, has sung South Africa and President Cyril Ramaphosa's praises.
Ryan lauded the way in which the nation has responded to the global Covid-19 epidemic, highlighting how African countries have actually been leading the way when it comes to the response to the coronavirus.
Speaking during a virtual press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Ryan commented that:
“There’s a tremendous amount of innovation going on in Africa in general. It is interesting in the way that South Africa is bringing the disease under control. And how African countries are actually, in many ways, showing the way."
Mobile lab units were launched with screening and testing being carried out across the nation. Ryan noted this initiative in his address, applauding South Africa's strategy against the virus:
“The strategy in South Africa was based on preparations, primary prevention, lockdown and enhanced surveillance. Sixty-seven mobile lab units around the country, 28 000 community health workers trained in case detection."
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