A case of the Bubonic Plague was found in the city of Bayannur, China, located northwest of Beijing, causing local authorities to issue a citywide Level 3 warning for plague prevention


According to the Xinhua news agency, a case of the Bubonic Plague was found in the city of Bayannur, China, located northwest of Beijing. ~

A hospital alerted municipal authorities of the suspected case on Saturday, and by Sunday, local authorities had issued a citywide Level 3 warning for plague prevention. This confirmed case comes right after two other cases were reported last week in Mongolia. “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, according to China Daily. ~

The Bubonic Plague killed an estimated fifty million people in the middle ages, according to History Today, and is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacterium, which spreads via bites of infected fleas or small mammals. The Bubonic plague causes painful, swollen lymph nodes, as well as fever, chills, and coughing. “The lymph node then becomes inflamed, tense and painful, and is called a ‘bubo’,” according to the World Health Organization. “At advanced stages of infection, the inflamed lymph nodes can turn into open sores filled with pus. Human to human transmission of bubonic plague is rare. Bubonic plague can advance and spread to the lungs, which is the more severe type of plague called Pneumonic plague.” Without treatment, the plague’s case-fatality ratio ranges from 30% to 100% (Contagion Live). ~

Bayannur health authorities are urging people to take extra precautions to minimize the risk of human-to-human transmission, and to avoid hunting, skinning, or eating animals that could cause infection. These animal precautions are due to the cause of the Mongolian cases being the consumption of marmot meat, according to the Xinhua news agency. China is also reportedly starting to take precautions to prevent an outbreak of this deadly disease. These precautions include a citywide Level 3 warning in Bayannur and a suggestion to avoid activities in which citizens would come in contact with infected animals. ~


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