China bubonic plague outbreak: World on alert as chiefs warn of Black Death epidemic risk


    A city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia sent the alert a day after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague. The city of Bayan Nur’s health committee issued a third-level alert which is the second lowest in the four-level system.

    The alert bans the hunting and eating of animals that could possibly carry the plague.

    It also urges the public to report any suspected cases of plague or fever which have no clear causes.

    Lastly, the alert asks that the public report any sick or dead marmots.

    This comes as four cases of the plague were reported from Inner Mongolia last November.

    These included two people with pneumonic plague which is a deadlier case of the plague.

    Last year a couple reportedly died of bubonic plague in Bayan-Ulgii, in western Mongolia, after eating raw meat.

    The health committee said the warning period would continue until the end of 2020.

    Their statement said: “At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city.

    READ MORE: Coronavirus update: New virus discovered with ‘disastrous’ potential

    The CDC say that the bubonic plague is usually a result of an infected flea bite.

    Once a person is infected, the bacteria reportedly multiplies in a lymph node and if not treated effectively can spread to other parts of the body.

    Cases of the plague are reportedly not unusual in China.

    However, outbreaks have become increasingly rare.

    According to Reuters, from 2009 to 2018, China reported 26 cases and 11 deaths due to the plague.

    The news of the bubonic plague alert comes shortly after researchers identified a new strain of flu which has the potential to become a pandemic.

    Although the scientists said it is not an immediate problem, they also highlighted that the new virus has “all the hallmarks” of adapting to infect humans.

    The strain of influenza is carried by pigs and caused concern as it could possibly mutate to spread easily from person to person.

    If the strain mutates, the researchers warned that it could trigger a global pandemic.

    Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, the researchers said that measures to control the virus should be promptly implemented.


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