After bubonic plague death, China seals off Inner Mongolia villageLast updated on Aug 09, 2020, 08:51 pm
Authorities in China have sealed off a village in the Inner Mongolia region after the death of a patient of bubonic plague.
The death was reported in the Baotou city on Sunday, however, the patient was confirmed to have been infected on Thursday, the Baotou Municipal Health Commission said in a statement.
This is the first bubonic plague death confirmed by China this year.
Victim's close and secondary contacts quarantined
According to the Baotou Municipal Health Commission, the patient—who lived in Suji Xincun village—died of circulatory system failure.
The Commission's statement said that the victim's nine close contact and 26 secondary contacts have been quarantined and have tested negative.
The statement did not mention how the victim had caught the plague.
This is the first plague death and the second confirmed case this year.
Suji Xincun village sealed; alert sounded across district
Authorities have now sealed off the Suji Xincun village and ordered daily disinfection of homes. All villagers have tested negative.
The Damao Banner district—home to Suji Xincun—has been put on a Level 3 alert for plague prevention until 2020-end. A Level 3 alert is the second-lowest in a four-level system.
After the July case, too, authorities had issued a Level 3 alert in Bayannur.
Authorities urge public to take precautions; reduce animal contact
Baotou authorities on Thursday warned of a risk "a human plague epidemic spreading in the city." They asked the public to take extra precautions and immediately seek medical assistance if they notice any symptoms of fever or coughing.
People have also been advised to reduce contact with wild animals while traveling and avoid hunting, skinning, or eating animals that could potentially cause the disease.
What is plague?
Plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Humans can be infected via flea bites or infected animals.
It killed an estimated 50 million people in Europe in the Black Death pandemic in the Middle Ages, said to be the deadliest pandemic recorded in human history.
Bubonic plague—which causes painful, swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills, and coughing—is one of the plague's three forms.
1,000-2,000 people get the plague every year
Although the advent of antibiotics has prevented large outbreaks like the Black Death, the disease hasn't been eliminated entirely.
The World Health Organization has categorized it as a re-emerging disease and 1,000-2,000 people get the plague annually, which doesn't account for unreported cases.
The possibility of the disease exists in the United States, India, the Middle East, parts of Brazil, southeast Africa, and China.