Second death linked with bubonic plague recorded in a village in Inner Mongolia

Nine close contacts of the victim along with 26 secondary contacts have been quarantined and their tests have come out negative.


At the beginning of July, with around four reported cases of the bubonic plague, Mongolia was put on alert for a possible plague outbreak. Now, the second bubonic plague related death has taken place in the Suji Xincun village in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia.

The victim's house has been sealed and sanitized along with the neighbouring houses. Nine close contacts of the victim along with 26 secondary contacts have been quarantined and their tests have come out negative, according to a statement by the Baotou Health committee.

The village of Suji Xincun has also been sealed and the villagers are being monitored for abnormalities like fever and have been tested for the plague as well.

According to CNN, the district of Damao Banner, where the village is located, has been put on Level-III alert for plague prevention until the end of the year.

 Second death linked with bubonic plague recorded in a village in Inner Mongolia

Marmot meat is one of the main causes for the bubonic plague. Image credit: Wikipedia

The alert forbids the hunting and eating of animals that carry the 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.

Marmots are a carrier for the plague and can spread by their cough. The plague can also jump from marmots to humans through the bite of the tarbagan flea or through consumption of marmot meat.

Level-III alert is the third-highest in the nation's four-level system. China's public health alert system is categorized into four levels in terms of the incidents' nature, the extent of harm and scope: Level-I (Extremely significant), Level-II (Significant), Level-III (Major) and Level-IV (Normal).

News of the bubonic plague first broke on 5 July 2020 when a herdsman from the city of Bayannur in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia was diagnosed with the bubonic plague. He was isolated in a local hospital and his condition is stable.

The second case of a 15-year-old boy was reported as well. He lived in the remote southwest province of Gobi-Altai and had caught the plague after hunting and eating a marmot. He was the first victim of the plague this year.

Two brothers in Mongolia’s Khovd province also tested positive for the bubonic plague after eating the meat of a marmot.

What is the Black Plague?

There are three types of plagues with the Bubonic plague being the deadliest of the lot. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people infected with the plague develop fever, headache, chills, and weakness. They can also develop one or more swollen, tender and painful lymph nodes that are also called buboes. This form is usually the result of an infected flea bite.

The Bubonic plague is a bacterial infection that spreads from fleas who have bitten infected rodents like mice, rats, rabbits and squirrels. It has a reproduction rate of 5-7, according to a study published in Science Direct, which means one person can spread the disease to five to seven people. The symptoms can start showing up after an incubation period of 1-7 days.

The WHO states that while it is a deadly disease, it can be treated easily with antibiotics and the use of standard preventive measures. However, if not treated properly, the bacteria can spread to other parts of the body and cause death is antibiotics are not administered within 24 hours of the first symptoms. The disease has a 30-60 percent fatality rate if left untreated.

Also Read: Case of bubonic plague detected in Mongolia: All you need to know about the Black Death


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