Bubonic plague: China’s Inner Mongolia on high alert

CHINA: Chinese Authorities have put the Inner Mongolian Region of Bayannur oh high alert after suspected cases of bubonic plague. The bacterium that was responsible for causing the Black Death pandemic. The plague was reported on Sunday.

The local authorities in Bayannur have issued a third-level warning for the bubonic plague prevention and control. The commission said the warning will last till the end of 2020.

The commission has warned people to avoid hunting and eating animals that could cause the plague infection. The public is cautioned and asked to take up extra self-protection as there is a risk of people-to-people transmission of infection. The public is also cautioned not to eat marmot meat.

Municipal authorities were warned by a hospital on Saturday of the case.

The plague is caused by bacteria and is transmitted by flea bites and infected animals. The bacterial infection is known as one of the deadliest in human history.

An estimated 50 million people were killed in Europe in the Middle ages. Though with modern antibiotics and medical facilities complications and deaths can be prevented if treated quickly and on time.

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What is Plague

The plague is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria that affects rodents, certain animals and humans. The bacteria is found in many parts of the world.

How people are affected

People acquire plague when they are bitten by flea infected with the plague bacteria.

It can be acquired while coming in directed contact with sick animal or that died from plague.

People can become infected by inhaling respiratory droplets after close contact with already infected animals or humans.

Bubonic Plague

Patients develop sudden onset of fever, headache, chills, and weakness and one or more swollen, tender and painful lymph nodes (called buboes). This form is usually the result of an infected flea bite. The bacteria multiply in the lymph node closest to where the bacteria entered the human body. If the patient is not treated with appropriate antibiotics, the bacteria can spread to other parts of the body.

Risk of a human plague epidemic

Bayannur health authorities have warned that at present there is a risk of human plague epidemic spread in the city. The authorities are urging people to take extra self-precautions to avoid human to human transmission of the disease. The authorities have also asked people to report immediately if they notice any abnormal health condition.

The people are also alerted to report if they find any sick or dead marmots. The large ground squirrel known for causing plague in China and Mongolia is feasted upon in both the regions.

The marmot is believed to be responsible for 1911 pneumonic plague epidemic in China took life of 63,000 people.

The animal was hunted for its fur, and also gained international popularity. The trade of diseased fur product around the country infected thousands. The plague was contained with in a year.

Confirmed cases of Bubonic plague

According to Xinhua lab test results have confirmed two cases of bubonic plague in Khovd province of Western Mongolia.

The infected are two brothers, a 27 year-old and a 17-year-old who are currently being treated at two separate hospitals. The two brothers eat marmot meat according to the officials.

A total of 146 people who came in contact with the brothers are isolated and being treated.

According to WHO if not treated properly and in time, it can kill an adult in less than 24 hours.

Last May, a couple in Mongolia died from the plague after eating raw marmot kidney. Marmot is eaten as it is thought to be a folk remedy for good health.

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