By NewsDesk   @bactiman63

Health officials in the city of Lanzhou in Gansu Province in Northwest China are reported dozens of brucellosis cases at a  a veterinary research institute in the city, according to a report (computer translated).

Image/Robert Herriman

In late November, a technical team at the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences reported that four students were serologically positive for brucellosis.

After receiving the report, the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute immediately sent people to accompany the students to the hospital for treatment, and at the same time established an investigation team to close the related laboratories and conduct investigations.

As of Friday, 263 people at the institute had been tested, of which 65, mainly laboratory staff, were confirmed antibody-positive by the Gansu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of the seropositive individuals felt physically uncomfortable, and the others did not show obvious clinical symptoms.

The patients have been under medical observation and will be given standard treatment if necessary, the commission said.

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The local department of agriculture is investigating the source of the disease and carrying out monitoring work.

Brucellosis is a contagious disease of animals that also affects humans. The disease is also known as Bang’s Disease. In humans, it’s known as Undulant Fever.

The Brucella species are named for their primary hosts: Brucella melitensis is found mostly is goats,sheep and camels, B. abortus is a pathogen of cattle, B. suis is found primarily in swine and B. canis is found in dogs.

The more common ways people get infected with brucellosis include: First, individuals that work with infected animals that have not been vaccinated against brucellosis. This would include farmers, slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians.

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They get infected through direct contact or aerosols produced by the infected animal tissue. B. abortus and B. suis are most common.

The second way is through ingesting unpasteurized dairy products.

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Brucellosis is also an occupational hazard to laboratory workers who inappropriately handle specimens or have an accident or spill. Brucella is highly infectious in the aerosolized form.

If someone gets infected with Brucella, the incubation period is about 2-3 weeks, though it could be months. Fever, night sweats, severe headache and body aches and other non-specific symptoms may occur.

Acute and chronic brucellosis can lead to complications in multiple organ systems. The skeletal, central nervous system, respiratory tract, the liver, heart, gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts can all be affected. Untreated brucellosis has a fatality rate of 5%.