3,000 people in China with brucellosis after vaccine factory error

Brucellosis-causing bacteria escaped last summer from a pharmaceutical company in Lanzhou, northern China. The authorities managed to hide the extent of the contamination for nearly a year.

One year later “The brucellosis incident” in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu, in northern China, the number of infected people far exceeds official forecasts, revealed Pengpai, an online media installed in Shanghai on September 15.

The incident began on July 24, 2019. For a month, the Lanzhou Biopharmaceutical Company, one of China’s oldest veterinary vaccine manufacturers and a producer listed by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, used expired disinfectants in the process of producing brucellosis vaccines. This resulted in incomplete sterilization of residual vapor emissions into the atmosphere.

Then the first cases of brucellosis infection were detected, from November 2019 according to official information, among the staff of the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, located in the same district as the factory.

At the time, authorities were trying to play down the situation by claiming it was a one-time incident and a short-term exposure. “The aerosol formed by the residual gases containing bacteria can only travel through the air a limited distance, and the dose is also low”, do they write in an official statement, as a result of which “There will not be a large number of infected people”.

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Zhang Zhulin

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