Know About The New Bacterial Infection In China That Can Leave Men Infertile
Beijing: Thousands of people in northwest China have tested positive for brucellosis, a bacterial disease, the Chinese authorities confirmed on Tuesday, News 18 reported. The outbreak was caused by a leak at a biopharmaceutical company last year.
The Health Commission of Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province said that 3,245 people have tested positive for the disease. It is reportedly caused by contact with livestock carrying the bacteria Brucella. According to some reports, it can have the side effect of inflamed testicles and can render some men infertile, the report added.
According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the disease, also known as Malta fever or Mediterranean fever, can cause headaches, muscle pain, fever and fatigue. While these symptoms may subside, some symptoms can become chronic or never go away, like arthritis or swelling in certain organs, News18 further reported.
The CDC said human-to-human transmission in this disease is extremely rare and infection spreads mostly through consumption of contaminated food or breathing in the bacteria. This seems to be the case in Lanzhou.
According to CNN, the outbreak stemmed from a leak at the Zhongmu Lanzhou biological pharmaceutical factory last year between late July and August. While producing Brucella vaccines for animal use, the factory used expired disinfectants and sanitizers. This means that not all bacteria were eradicated in the waste gas.
Initially, a small number of people were thought to be infected, but testing 21,000 people showed the number of infections to be much higher. No deaths have so far been reported. “The number is way larger than expected and raised widespread concern over the disease’s spread and its consequences,” reported China’s state-run Global Times newspaper.