Bubonic plague warning in China: A suspected case of “Black Death” was revealed on Sunday.
On July 5, after a case of the extremely infectious disease was revealed, Chinese health officials issued an urgent bubonic plague alert in the region of Inner Mongolia. As The Blaze reports, the warning forbids the hunting and eating of animals that could carry the plague at least through the end of the year.
A third-level plague alert was issued by the health committee of the city of Bayannur. This is the second-lowest category in a four-level system. According to the notice, any questionable cases of fever or plague with no apparent cause must be reported to the officials.
Not only the alert forbids the hunting and eating of animals that could endanger people’s health by carrying the infectious disease, but it also demands citizens to report any sick or dear marmots.
The official notice will be in effect through 2020.
The warning follows four reported cases of plague in people from Inner Mongolia last November, Independent reveals. These cases include two of pneumonic infection, a deadlier variant of plague.
Last year, as CBS News reports, a Mongolian couple died of bubonic plague after eating raw marmot meat. The area they lived in was put under quarantine, leaving tourists stranded in a remote region for days.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the bubonic plague is one of the types of plague caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis. This zoonotic bacteria is usually found in small mammals and their fleas. Bubonic plague is the most common form. It’s characterized by painful swollen lymph nodes, also known as ‘buboes’.
Here is what people experience when infected with the bubonic plague, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
“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.”
The “Black Death” was the reason for over 50 million deaths in Europe during the 14th century.
Presently, thanks to the development of antibiotics, the mortality rate triggered by this plague is approximately 16%. This shows that currently, the disease is far less deadly than it was in the middle ages, where the numbers varied between 66% and 93%, CDC reveals.
The WHO claims there were 3,248 cases of bubonic plague worldwide in the period between 2010 and 2015. Out of these cases, 584 were fatal. Although most epidemic-sensitive countries are in Africa and South America, the Chinese region also appears to be vulnerable.
The news of the bubonic plague alert in China comes shortly after Chinese researchers discovered a new type of flu with ‘pandemic potential’. The new virus, called G4, has genetically descended from the H1N1 strain of influenza, which was the reason for the 2009 pandemic.