China Seals Off Village Over Bubonic Plague Death in Inner Mongolia

Chinese officials have locked down a village in Inner Mongolia after a reported death from the bubonic plague, the deadly infectious disease that killed an estimated 50 million centuries ago.

The bubonic plague victim died from an intestinal infection that caused circulatory system failure, the Baotou municipal health commission said on Thursday.

The commission has also since quarantined nine close contacts and 26 secondary contacts, and put out a level three alert, the third-highest in a four-tier system, through the end of the year.

So far, all villagers from Sujixin Village, where the patient lived, have tested negative for the bacterial disease and have displayed no “unusual symptoms” such as fever. The commission said it will “thoroughly disinfect” the deceaseds residence and nearby homes daily. The Inner Mongolia government has ordered all 12 city level and 57 county level disease control centers to hire more officers and set up designated departments for plague prevention.

The case marked the first bubonic death of the year. The previous case in Bayannur, northwest of Beijing, reported in early July, prompted a level three warning from the city government, who cautioned the public to avoid hunting, eating, or carrying wildlife that could carry the disease or any related products. Authorities confirmed the case on July 5.

The herdsman who became sick was seen around the endemic areas before developing symptoms in his glands, Bayannur health officials said. He was receiving isolated treatment at a local hospital and was stable as of July 6.

marmot on a fairway
marmot on a fairway
A groundhog, a member of the marmot family, in Ardmore, Penn., on June 14, 2013. (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Inner Mongolia subsequently identified three epidemic sites with Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes the plague. Fu Ruifeng, the deputy director of the Inner Mongolia health commission, said during a press conference that they found four mice that died of the plague in the town where the infection case was reported. The patient said he had not met with anyone who was feverish over the 10 days before he began feeling unwell, nor did he eat any wild animals or have any exposure with dead animals or mice.

Gland infections usually result from bites from infected fleas, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Intestinal infections, meanwhile, often occur when a person consumes animals that have died from the plague, such as marmots, rabbits, and Tibetan sheep.

On July 1, Mongolia confirmed two cases of the bubonic plague involving brothers who ate marmot they illegally captured, according to Chinas state-run media Xinhua. On July 14, Mongolias health ministry reported that a 15-year-old had died after he shared marmot meat with two other friends and fell ill. Mongolia imposed martial law on six cRead More – Source