Health
Bubonic plague diagnosed in China 

By Fabian Sutch-Daggett - World Healthcare Journal

Authorities in the city of Bayannur issued a plague warning on Sunday after two men tested positive for the deadly disease.

Currently, both men are in stable condition at separate hospitals. All those recently in contact with them have been instructed to isolate and seek post-exposure treatment.

It is reported that both men consumed marmot meat, which has been known to carry Yersinia Pestis, the bacteria which causes the bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic plagues.

As part of the level 3 plague warning, the second-lowest of a 4 tier system, the city has instructed citizens to not hunt wild animals which are known to carry plague, and for anyone who believes they may have contracted plague to seek immediate treatment. This alert will remain in place until the end of this year.

Healthcare authorities also called for the public to report any findings of sick or dead marmots and other plague-carrying animals.

"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 all abnormal health conditions promptly," the local healthcare authority in the city said, according to China Daily.

Despite the plague’s terrible history, with modern medicine and antibiotics, the disease is easily treatable. However, this does not mean that outbreaks should be taken lightly. Left untreated, the plague can have a 90 per cent mortality rate.

The world has largely eradicated plague, but occasionally outbreaks are still reported, especially amongst hunters and farmers coming into contact with fleas from animals who naturally carry the disease.

In the Middle Ages, Europe experienced the deadliest disease outbreak in history, when the bubonic plague killed one third of the population - an estimated 75 to 100m people. Since then, plague epidemics occurred as recently as the 21st century, with the last major known outbreak in 2009 when several people died in the town of Ziketan in Qinghai province.


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