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Two People in China Have Been Diagnosed With the Plague

Two People in China Have Been Diagnosed With the Plague

Chinese authorities have confirmed two patients have been diagnosed the pneumonic plague.

Two People in China Have Been Diagnosed With the Plague

Health authorities in China have confirmed that two people have been diagnosed with the plague.

The two patients are currently being treated in Bejing Chaoyang Hospital in China’s capital city which is home to more than 21 million people.

The patients are reportedly from the northwestern Inner Mongolia province where the prevention and control measures have been implemented according to local authorities. 

According to authorities, the two have been diagnosed with the pneumonic plague which is spread by coughing and is considered more dangerous than the bubonic plague which was responsible for the Black Death in Europe in the middle ages.

“The (Chinese) National Health Commission are implementing efforts to contain and treat the identified cases, and increasing surveillance,” Fabio Scano, coordinator at WHO China, told the Associated Foreign Press. 

Scano added that “the risk of transmission of the pulmonary plague is for close contacts and we understand that these are being screened and managed.”

What is plague?

Plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. There are three forms of plague – bubonic (which infects the lymph nodes), pneumonic (which infects the lungs) and septicemic (which infects the blood).

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Plague is found in some small mammals and their fleas. It is usually contracted when people are bitten by infected fleas; those bitten then develop the bubonic form of the plague. 

Pneumonic plague – which has been identified in two patients in China – can be spread by person-to-person transmission through the inhalation of infected respiratory droplets according to WHO. 

The course of the disease is rapid and the incubation can be as short as 24 hours. Untreated pneumonic plague is fatal but WHO says common antibiotics are efficient to cure plague if it is caught early.  

Symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, chills, head and body aches, vomiting and nausea. Pneumonic plague often presents with shortness of breath and coughing.

 

 

 

 

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