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Teenage boy in Mongolia dies from bubonic plague

Teenage boy in Mongolia dies from bubonic plague

Following warnings of a potential bubonic plague outbreak, a young boy in Mongolia as died after contracting the disease.

Teenage boy in Mongolia dies from bubonic plague

Health officials in western Mongolia have confirmed a 15-year-old boy has died from the bubonic plague.

The young boy caught the plague after hunting and eating marmot, a large rodent that has long been linked with plague outbreaks in the area.

After the boy was confirmed to have the plague, quarantine measures were imposed in the Tugrug district of Gobi-Altai, the province where he lives.

The quarantine is expected to last a week and 15 people who came in contact with the teenager have already been isolated.

China sends warning

Earlier in July, a region in China forbade the hunting and eating of the large rodents and asked the public to report any suspected cases, as well as any sick or dead marmots.

The health committee of the city of Bayan Nur issued the third-level alert, the second lowest in a four-level system.

The alert forbids the hunting and eating of animals that could carry plague and asks the public to report any suspected cases of plague or fever with no clear causes, and to report any sick or dead marmots.

The warning followed four reported cases of plague in people from Inner Mongolia last November, including two of pneumonic plague, a deadlier variant of plague.

Bubonic plague – the ‘Black Death’

The bubonic plague, known as the “Black Death” in the Middle Ages, is a highly infectious and often fatal disease that is spread mostly by rodents.

Plague cases are not uncommon in China, but outbreaks have become increasingly rare. From 2009 to 2018, China reported 26 cases and 11 deaths.

Mongolia also reported two cases of bubonic plague linked to people eating marmot meat in its western Khovd province in early July.

Russia said it had stepped up patrols to stop people hunting marmots near its border with China and Mongolia after the countries reported possible cases of bubonic plague, which can be carried by the animals.

– Reuters

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