TWELVE workers from a slaughterhouse in Spain have contracted rubella, sparking fears the deadly disease could be on the rise in Europe.
Twelve people working at the slaughterhouse in Zaragoza have been diagnosed with the disease, which spreads in coughs and sneezes. And more people are feared to be infected, due to the long period of up to three weeks before symptoms start to show. The outbreak of rubella is the largest recorded in Spain since 2012.
However local authorities and Grupo Jorge, the company who owns the facility, insisted the outbreak of the disease at the slaughterhouse does not pose a risk to the population who eat meat.
A spokesman for Grupo Jorge added: "The outbreak does not have any relationship with the work activity, it has coincided because it is a space of coexistence, as any other could be.”
The outbreak started at the end of November, where there were cases of an undiagnosed disease at the slaughterhouse which processes hundreds of tons of meat for human consumption every day.
Seven workers were initially affected, suffering from a high temperature and a rash.
The number of cases rose to 12 in early December, with tests confirming the disease was rubella.
The majority of those affected are young adults from sub-Saharan Africa and eastern Europe, according to department sources.