Suspected case of Bubonic Plague found in Mongolia

6th July 2020: A Suspected case of bubonic plague in China’s Inner Mongolia erupted on Sunday raising the alarm.

According to a report by CNN, authorities in the Chinese region of inner Mongolia are on high alert after a suspected case of bubonic plague, the disease that caused the Black Death pandemic, was reported Sunday.

According to a state-run Xinhua News Agency, the case was discovered in the city of Bayannur, located northwest of Beijing. On Saturday, a hospital alerted municipal authorities of a patient’s case. By Sunday, local authorities had issued a citywide Level 3 warning for plague prevention, the second-lowest in a four-level system. The warning will stay in place until the end of the year, according to Xinhua.

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Plague is one of the deadliest bacterial infections in human history caused by bacteria and transmitted through flea bites and infected animals.

It killed around 50 million people in Europe during the Black Death in the Middle Ages. Modern antibiotics can prevent complications and death if administered quickly enough.

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What is the Bubonic Plague:

Bubonic plague is the most common type of the disease that people can get. The name comes from the symptoms it causes – painful, swollen lymph nodes, or ‘buboes’ in the groin or armpit. A person usually becomes ill with bubonic plague between two and six days after being infected.

People can catch it from bites of infected fleas, touching infected animals such as rats and mice, and inhaling infected respiratory droplets spread by infected people or animals. Prompt treatment with antibiotics is vital as the disease is often lethal if left.

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Taking Precautions:

Bayannur health authorities are now urging people to take extra precautions to minimize the risk of human-to-human transmission and to avoid hunting or eating animals that could cause infection.

“At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city. The public should improve its self-protection awareness and ability, and report abnormal health conditions promptly,” the local health authority said, according to state-run newspaper China Daily.

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A Tarbagan marmot in steppes around Khukh Lake, Mongolia.

Bayannur authorities have warned the public to report the findings of dead or sick marmots, which is a type of large squirrel that is eaten in some parts of China and its neighboring country Mongolia. Reportedly it has been a cause historically for the plague outbreak in the region.

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