More than 3,000 people test positive for Brucellosis in Lanzhou, NW China's Gansu Province

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/15 22:34:54

Lanzhou, Northwest China's Gansu Province. Photo: VCG

A total of 3,245 people have tested positive for Brucellosis as of Monday in Lanzhou, Northwest China's Gansu Province, according to an investigation report into the Brucellosis antibody positive event in Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute that occurred in December 2019. The report was released by the Health Commission of Lanzhou on Tuesday, stating that compensation will be carried out in batches in October to effectively protect people's health and interests.

By Monday, a total of 21,847 people had been tested, of whom 4,646 had preliminarily screened positive, and 3,245 had been confirmed positive by the Gansu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the report said.

It triggered public concern about how the infected people are treated and compensated, which reached the top of the hot research list on Chinese Twitter-like Sina Weibo, with more than 48 million views as of press time.

After the occurrence of the Brucellosis antibody positive event in the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, eleven public medical institutions have been designated as relevant hospitals, with green channels and specialized clinics to provide free and convenient health testing and standardized treatment, according to the report.

Health records have been established for those who tested positive, and specially assigned staff will carry out monthly health follow-ups with the infected people.

Experts are offering on-site counseling, online counseling, along with telephone hotlines, distribution of brochures and other means for the public to get information about the disease.

A total of 3,159 people have the new health records. A total of 23,479 consultations were carried out, nine on-site lectures on medical treatment were held, and more than 15,000 copies of publicity leaflets were distributed.

From July 24, 2019 to August 20, Zhongmu Lanzhou biological pharmaceutical factory, near the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, used expired disinfectant in the process of Brucella vaccine production for animal use, which led to the incomplete sterilization of the waste gas from the production fermentation tank. 

The waste gas carrying the fermentation liquid containing bacteria formed bacteria-containing aerosols. During the production period, the prevailing wind direction in the region was southeast, and Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute was downwind of the factory and infections occurred as a result. This was an accident, and exposure occurred in a short period of time, the report said. 

On January 13, 2020, Lanzhou biological pharmaceutical factory had its Brucella vaccine production license withdrawn and the product approval document number for Brucellosis vaccine (S2 strains) and Brucellosis vaccine (A19 strains) were withdrawn on January 15. A total of seven veterinary drug product approval numbers were cancelled in the Brucellosis vaccine production workshop. 

The factory shut down the Brucellosis vaccine production workshop on December 7, 2019 and eight people were severely punished. It said it would learn lessons and actively cooperate with local authorities to deal with the aftermath and compensate for the losses.

The work of dealing with the aftermath is being carried out in accordance with the law, in a scientific, standardized and orderly manner, the report said.

Local authorities said they will arrange for the Zhongmu Lanzhou biological pharmaceutical factory to carry out the compensation work, in accordance with the relevant laws, regulations and standards. The compensation work will be carried out in batches in October to effectively protect people's health and interests. 

The Lanzhou Health Commission will conduct further scientific health checks and evaluation for the infected people. The second review has begun and as of 2pm Monday, 2,773 people had been re-examined, and 2,768 feedback results had been received. 

The commission will further spread awareness about Brucellosis and answer questions from the public in order to deal with people's concerns and doubts.

Brucellosis, also known as Mediterranean fever, is an infectious bacterial disease affecting human beings caused by Brucella. It can be transmitted by contact with infected livestock including cattle and sheep. It is characterized by fever, malaise and headaches. It can also damage the male testes, female ovaries and other reproductive systems, according to China's CDC.

Posted in: SOCIETY

blog comments powered by Disqus