It seems like the world cannot catch a break in 2020! Most of us are still trying to come to terms with the current COVID-19 pandemic and make lifestyle changes. Most organizations worldwide ask their employees to continue working from home until the end of the year 2020. With over 30,587,896 people are affected by the novel coronavirus, and over 953,828 lives lost, the world hasn’t been a pleasant and happy place. However, if you thought it could not get worse than this, think again!
A Healththreat is making the rounds!
China, the birthplace for the COVID-19 virus, has now given birth to another infection. Yes, an official confirmation from the Health Commission of Lanzhou states that over 3,254 people are already battling the bacterial infection. And they say that the numbers might go up in the days ahead. The patients who tested positive were apparently in contact with the livestock that carries a bacteria called Brucella.
How Did It Begin?
Well, this one might both amuse and enrage you at the same time. A report from China’s healthcare authorities suggests that the bacteria spread due to a leak at a biopharmaceutical company last year. The personnel at the biopharma company was using expired sanitizers and disinfectants while working on vaccines for animals. This means they did not clear the bacteria in the waste gas entirely, which spread in the air. And then, the contamination began to spread around the Gansu province.
Experts believe that this infection has the potential to cause infertility issues in men. That is because the bacterial infection could affect the testicles and leave lasting damage to the male reproductive organ. The number of cases increased significantly, becoming a cause of concern among healthcare professionals. Authorities have shut down the Zhongmu Lanzhou biological pharmaceutical factory where the outbreak began. This was after revoking their license to produce vaccines.
What Are The Symptoms
Authorities are calling this disease as Brucellosis, or Malta Fever, or the Mediterranean fever. Most people tend to experience symptoms similar to the flu in the initial stage of the infection. The other common symptoms of it include fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle pains.
According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), besides these symptoms, a few people might also experience chronic symptoms like arthritis or swelling in the joints that continue to persist. So, if you experience any of these symptoms, do visit your doctor. They will run a thorough check and see if you have Malta Fever.
How Does It Spread?
If you are in a panic mode thinking that this could spread like COVID-19, don’t worry. Research evidence suggests that Brucellosis disease transmission cannot happen from human-to-human contact, fluid transmission, etc.
Instead, it is by the consumption of food with Brucellosis infection. However, the CDC doesn’t rule out the possibility of air transmission of the bacteria as the Lanzhou province shows that bacteria in the air could infect people.
How to Prevent Infection?
As the infection spreads through food, healthcare professionals advise people to stay away from unpasteurized dairy foods. Besides that, it is also important to ensure you wear a mask and gloves every time you step out. And if you have a pet at home, make sure to get the vaccines to protect them from the infection. It is important to adhere to safety norms, good hygiene practices, and maintain social distance to avoid spreading.
Workers in the farms, livestock industry, and slaughterhouses are the high-risk group for the Brucellosis disease. So, make sure you take ample precautions. This could be a testing time for veterinarians and the ranch workers as they are in constant contact with animals and might risk infection.
There is no cure found yet for this bacterial infection. However, we can remain hopeful that if we all were to exercise caution and maintain a healthy lifestyle, we could avoid it’s spread. Governments and citizens need to learn from the recent pandemic and avoid repeating the same mistakes they did at the outbreak.
That way, the damage from this bacterial infection could be minimized if not eradicated. So, let us all do our bit to create and spread awareness, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and avoid putting ourselves and our loved ones at risk! Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you do your bit!