While the novel coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc across the globe, the Health Commission of Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province of China, has released a report confirming an outbreak of a infectious bacterial disease Brucellosis that has affected several thousand people in northwest China. According to the report released this week, out of a total of 21, 847 tests conducted, 3,245 people have tested positive for Brucellosis as of Monday, September 14, 2020. However, no fatalities have been reported so far. The disease, also called Malta fever or Mediterranean fever, is caused by contact with livestock carrying the bacteria Brucella. It is characterized by multiple symptoms ranging from headache, fever, muscular pain, fatigue and reproductive system issues. Some of the symptoms may go away, while others including arthritis and swelling in organs like liver, spleen, ovaries and testicles have the tendency to become chronic. Human to human transmission is rare, but the disease is highly contagious among animals. The report revealed that the outbreak was caused by a leak of exhaust fumes contaminated with bacteria from an animal vaccine plant last year. During July-August 2019, the biopharmaceutical company used expired sanitizers during the production of Brucella vaccines, which allowed the bacteria to enter the exhaust fumes. This waste gas contaminated with bacteria formed bacteria-containing aerosols that were leaked into the air and carried away to peripheral areas by wind. The Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, due to its proximity and the direction of winds, was the first to be hit by the outbreak, as cases of people catching infection started being reported in November 2019. The situation began to worsen as by the end of December 2019, at least 181 people at the institute had been tested positive for Brucellosis, as reported by Chinese state agency Xinhua.Two weeks later, Lanzhou biopharmaceutical factory had its license for manufacturing Brucella vaccine revoked, and its product approval numbers for Brucellosis vaccines for S2 strains and A19 strains of Brucella bacteria, along with seven other veterinary drug product document numbers, were canceled. In February 2020, a public apology was sent out by the biopharmaceutical company, stating it had “severely punished” eight people who were deemed responsible for the incident. The factory further announced that to make up for its negligence, it would work with local authorities in the ‘response and cleanup efforts’ and contribute to the compensation package for the affected people.The Lanzhou Health Commission has announced in its report that compensation will begin in batches in October to effectively provide relief to the affected people and ensure their health and interests. It further declared that 11 public hospitals designated by the authorities are working to provide free, regular checkups to the infected patients.