While the world is still struggling with the Coronavirus, an outbreak of another disease called Brucellosis has originated from China. It is reported that over 3000 people in northern China have been infected. However, the outbreak of this bacterial disease is not natural and said to have originated by a leak at a biopharmaceutical company last year.
How does is transfer?
Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria from the livestock which also affect humans. It is a zoonotic disease which is transferred if humans come in direct contact with infected animals or by eating/drinking contaminated animal products or by inhaling airborne agents.
This widespread zoonotic (diseases which are caused by germs that spread between animals and people) disease is a serious public health consequence. With the expansion of urbanization, animal industries and lack of hygienic practices followed in animal husbandry and food handling brucellosis remains a public hazard.
Who’s at risk?
Both genders and all ages can contract this disease. It is mostly caused by consumption of raw milk, fresh cheese and other derivatives of milk. The products from sheep and goats are highly likely to transmit this disease. However, it is also mentioned that this disease can leave men infertile.
How to prevent and control this disease?
Prevention of brucellosis can only be effective with surveillance and taking into account the risk factors at farms and animal husbandry. Therefore it is suggested to vaccinate cattle, goats and sheep to avoid any bacterial disease in animals. Other measures include; raising awareness, occupational hygiene, laboratory safety and food-safety measures.
Brucellosis is similar to flu and the novel coronavirus including fever, weakness, malaise and weight loss. However, the severity of the symptoms depends on each patient. The incubation period of this disease can range from 1 week to even 2 months but it has been 2-4 weeks for the majority of the patients until now.
So far the disease has spread only in northeast china, Lanzhou with above 30,000 cases and no deaths however the future will tell how serious and fatal can it be.