Chinese city issues alert due to possible case of bubonic plague

Beijing, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Authorities in a city in northern China issued a level 3 health alert, the second lowest in the country’s four-tier system, after a possible case of bubonic plague was detected, official media reported.

The municipal health commission of Bayannur city in the northern Inner Mongolia autonomous region announced Sunday that a shepherd in the city’s Urad Middle Banner area had been admitted to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with the disease.

The patient is in quarantine at the medical center where he is being treated and is in a stable condition.

The level 3 alert will be maintained until the end of the year to prevent and control possible outbreaks of bubonic plague, according to local authorities.

In a statement, the municipal government asked citizens to be more cautious amid the risk of person-to-person infections and also urged them not to eat animals that could cause plague infections.

The authorities also requested that the public to report any suspected cases of plague, wherein patients develop a high fever for no apparent reason or die suddenly.

The municipal health commission also asked citizens to report any sick or dead marmots and said that the hunting and eating of animals that could carry plague was forbidden.

The specific mention of marmots could be related to two confirmed cases of bubonic plague in neighboring Mongolia last week.

In that case, two brothers were hospitalized after contracting the disease after eating marmot meat.

These animals and other small mammals carry fleas infected by the bacteria, Yersinia pestis, which causes both bubonic and pneumonic plague.

In the case of bubonic plague, symptoms usually appear after an incubation period of one to seven days and, if not treated with antibiotics, it has a fatality rate of between 30 and 60 percent.

Currently, the worst affected countries are Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Peru, according to the World Health Organization. EFE-EPA


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