According to CNN, Authorities in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia are currently on high alert following a suspected case of the bubonic plague, a plague that killed more than half of the population in Europe in the 14th century.
The case which was reported on Sunday, was discovered in the city of Bayannur, located northwest of Beijing, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.
Following the victim’s illness, a hospital alerted municipal authorities of the patient’s case on Saturday. Local Authorities immediately 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 Xinhua.
This type of Plague, caused by bacteria and transmitted through flea bites and infected animals, is one of the deadliest bacterial infections ever known in human history.
It is estimated that 50 million people died in Europe when it ravaged the continent and part of Asia during the 14th century.
Health authorities in Bayannur are currently urging people to take extra precautions and measures to minimize the risk of human-to-human transmission, and also to avoid hunting or eating animals that could cause infection.
The local health authority said,
“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,”
It is also reported that Bayannur authorities have 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.
Sometime 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.
According to the WHO anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 people get the plague every year.
As at July 2020, there is currently no effective vaccine against the plague, but modern antibiotics can prevent complications and death if administered on time.
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