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Bubonic plague cases spotted in China – What’s to come?

Local health authorities in China’s Inner Mongolia region announced a suspected positive case of bubonic plague Sunday.

Case of Bubonic Plague in China

China’s Global Times reported that health officials in Bayannur said a farmer as sickened and hospitalized but is in a stable condition.

The city also raised its alert level for bubonic plague illness. Additionally, they told residents to not hunt wild animals, to report any sick or dead marmots and to report any person showing possible signs of infection.

At the moment, the health officials are not considering it a high risk. However, they are watching it and monitoring it carefully.

Reuters reported that the alert level was at its second lowest in a four level system.

According to Reuters, the warning follows four suspected cases of plague in Inner Mongolia last November, including two cases of pneumonic plague.

Anyhow, the authorities banned hunting, skinning and transportation of rodents that might carry the bubonic plague bacteria.

Moreover, last year, a Mongolian couple died from the bubonic plague after eating raw marmot meat.

Over the past year, China has reported five cases of the disease associated with some of the deadliest pandemics in human history.

History of the disease and its symptoms

Bubonic plague is one of three forms of the infectious disease caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bubonic plague is usually contracted after an infected flea bite.

Furthermore, one to seven days after the exposure to the bacteria, flu-like symptoms develop.

Symptoms of bubonic plague can include fever, headache, chills, weakness and swollen lymph nodes. The bacteria can spread to other parts of the body if untreated.

Swollen and painful lymph nodes occur in the area closest to where the bacteria entered the skin.

Although tied to historic pandemics like the Black Death, plague illnesses do still occur around the world and in the United States every year, though they are rare.

Since the mid-twentieth century, this is under control.

Several modern antibiotics have significantly lowered plagues’ mortality rate. In addition, vaccines seem to not be very useful for the prevention of this plague.

While plague is entirely unrelated to the new coronavirus, the warning from officials in Bayannur comes as China has gone weeks without reporting a new death from the virus.

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