H1N1, bird flu, SARS, CoronaVirus and now Bubonic Plaguen from China?
When will the Chinese clean up their country and STOP harming the world?
The bubonic plague is back again in China's Inner Mongolia
Jessie Yeung, CNN
Updated 2:48 AM ET, Mon July 6, 2020
Authorities in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia are on high alert
after a suspected case of bubonic plague, the disease that caused the
Black Death pandemic, was reported Sunday.
The case was discovered in the city of Bayannur, located northwest of
Beijing, according to state-run Xinhua news agency. A hospital alerted
municipal authorities of the patient's case on Saturday. By Sunday,
local authorities had issued a citywide Level 3 warning for plague
prevention, the second lowest in a four-level system.
The warning will stay in place until the end of the year, according to
Plague, caused by bacteria and transmitted through flea bites and
infected animals, is one of the deadliest bacterial infections in human
history. During the Black Death in the Middle Ages, it killed an
estimated 50 million people in Europe.
Bubonic plague, which is one of plague's three forms, causes painful,
swollen lymph nodes, as well as fever, chills, and coughing.
Bayannur health authorities are now urging people to take extra
precautions to minimize the risk of human-to-human transmission, and to
avoid hunting or eating animals that could cause infection.
"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 state-run newspaper China Daily.
Bayannur authorities warned the public to report findings of dead or
sick marmots -- a type of large ground squirrel that is eaten in some
parts of China and the neighboring country Mongolia, and which have
historically caused plague outbreaks in the region.
The marmot is believed to have caused the 1911 pneumonic plague
epidemic, which killed about 63,000 people in northeast China. It was
hunted for its fur, which soared in popularity among international
traders. The diseased fur products were traded and transported around
the country -- infecting thousands along the way.
Though that epidemic was contained within a year, marmot-related plague
infections have persisted decades later. Just last week, two cases of
bubonic plague were confirmed in Mongolia -- brothers who had both eaten
marmot meat, according to Xinhua.
Last May, a couple in Mongolia died from bubonic plague after eating the
raw kidney of a marmot, thought to be a folk remedy for good health. Two
more people got pneumonic plague -- another form of the disease, which
infects the lungs -- months later across the border in Inner Mongolia.
Why is plague still a thing?
The advent of antibiotics, which can treat most infections if they are
caught early enough, has helped to contain plague outbreaks, preventing
the type of rapid spread witnesses in Europe in the Middle Ages.
But while modern medicine can treat the plague, it has not eliminated it
entirely -- and it has made a recent comeback, leading the World Health
Organization (WHO) to categorize it as a re-emerging disease.
Anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 people get the plague every year, according
to the WHO. But that total is likely too modest an estimate, since it
doesn't account for unreported cases.
The three most endemic countries -- meaning plague exists there
permanently -- are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and
In the United States, there have been anywhere from a few to a few dozen
cases of plague every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. In 2015, two people in Colorado died from the plague,
and the year before there were eight reported cases in the state.
There is currently no effective vaccine against plague, but modern
antibiotics can prevent complications and death if given quickly enough.
Untreated bubonic plague can turn into pneumonic plague, which causes
rapidly developing pneumonia, after bacteria spreads to the lungs.