New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As many as 3,245 people have been infected with a bacterial disease after a leak from a Chinese biopharma plant while making animal vaccines last year, news agency AFP reported on Friday. The bacterial disease these people contracted is brucellosis, which is caused by close contact with infected animals. Its symptoms include fever, joint pain and headaches.

Moreover, another 1,401 people are said to in the early stage of contracting the disease. The Chinese health officials have, however, denied people-to-people transmission of the bacterial disease.

According to the report, the leak occurred at a Chinese state-owned biopharmaceutical plant in Lanzhou between July and August last year while making Brucella vaccines for animals. The plant had reportedly used expired disinfectant and the bacteria was not eradicated in its factory exhaust.

From the China Animal Husbandry Lanzhou Biopharmaceutical Factory, the bacteria first spread to the nearby Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute through contaminated gas released from the plant. Around 200 people at the veterinary institute contracted the disease by December last year.

The authorities in Lanzhou said that sheep, cattle and pigs were the primary carries of the bacteria. More than 20 students and faculty members of Lanzhou University also tested positive for brucellosis.

While person-to-person transmission of brucellosis is considered "extremely rare", some of its symptoms can reoccur and in some cases never go away. The symptoms include recurrent fevers, chronic fatigue, swelling of the heart or arthritis. Some of them can be fatal as well.

China has been under the scanner after the spread of deadly coronavirus, which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Some of the conspiracy theories claim that the coronavirus is in fact a Chinese bioweapon, which accidentally escaped a Wuhan lab. A global probe to find out the origin of coronavirus is also underway.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma