06 JULY 2020
Authorities in an autonomous region in northern China have issued a health warning after a local farmer contracted the bubonic plague.
A herdsman was reportedly in a stable condition after having been confirmed to have caught the disease on Sunday, according to the New York Times.
Health officials in Bayan Mur, a city in Inner Mongolia, on Sunday issued a third-level alert, according to Reuters, which is the second-lowest of four tiers.
The alert forbids the hunting or eating of wild animals that could carry the plague and it will be in place until the end of the year. Locals have also been told to report finding any ill and dead animals, as well as people showing signs of a fever of or sudden deaths.
“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 abnormal health conditions promptly,” the local health authority said, according to the China Daily newspaper.
The bubonic plague is a highly transmissible disease caused by a bacterial infection and was the cause of the Black Death, which swept through much of Asia, Europe and Africa in the fourteenth century and claimed as many as 50 million lives.
It is now easily treatable with antibiotics, meaning cases are rare and an epidemic is highly unlikely, and the infected patient is in a stable condition, according to the Global Times.
But there are still occasional outbreaks of the disease – Madasagcar recorded more than 300 cases in 2017, according to a BBC report.
A Mongolian couple also died last year after contracting the bubonic plague when they ate raw marmot meat.