The suspected cases of bubonic plague were reported on Saturday by a hospital in Bayannur, China. Two cases of the bubonic plague were reported from the same area less than 8 months ago.
The confirmed cases are a 27-year-old resident and his 17-year-old brother, who are being treated at two separate hospitals in their province. Reports indicate that the duo ate marmot meat. A total of 146 people who had contact with them have been isolated and treated at local hospitals.
According to state-run People’s Daily Online, Bayannur, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, announced a level III warning of plague prevention and control. The local health authority announced that the warning period will continue until the end of 2020.
“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.
The commission also issued an advisory for residents in the area to prevent people-to-people infection including not to hunt and eat animals that could cause plague infections.
Bubonic plague is a rare but serious bacterial infection transmitted by fleas from rodents and has the potential to be transmitted to other animals or humans. According to the World Health Organization, bubonic plague can kill an adult in less than 24 hours if not treated in time.
There are three types of plague, a bacterial infection caused by Yersinia pestis: septicemic, which spreads in the blood; bubonic, which affects the lymph nodes; and pneumonic, which affects the lungs.
The news about the deadly disease comes a week after Chinese researchers issued an early warning over another potential pandemic caused by an influenza virus in pigs. From 2010 to 2015, there have been over 3,200 reported cases of bubonic plague, which resulted in 584 deaths.
According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the bubonic plague was responsible for wiping out millions in medieval Europe before spreading to Asia and Africa in the 14th century.
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