The entire world is grappling with the dangerous coronavirus pandemic and on the other hand there are many instances of potentially frightening outbreaks.
According to a report in the South China Morning Post, last year a total of 3,245 people have tested positive for Brucella bacteria antibodies in Lanzhou, the capital of the province of Gansu, after being exposed to polluted air from a pharmaceutical firm.
Contaminated exhaust fumes from Lanzhou Biopharmaceutical Factory, a unit of state-owned China Animal Husbandry Industry, are said to be the cause of the infection.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC) said the disease can cause headaches, muscle pain, fever, and fatigue. It is also known as Malta fever or Mediterranean fever. Although these symptoms can subside, certain symptoms, such as arthritis or swelling in some organs, may become chronic or never go away. Brucellosis, which is said to have infected thousands of people in Northwest China is capable of making men infertile.
According to the Lanzhou Health Board, provincial and local authorities started an inquiry into the leak at the factory following the outbreak. By January, authorities had revoked the plant's vaccine manufacturing licences and withdrew product approval numbers for its two Brucellosis vaccines.
The Chinese state news agency Xinhua announced in December last year that 181 people working at a veterinary research facility near the factory had contacted the disease but the full scale of the outbreak has not been announced until now.