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  • 01:46
    Suspected case of bubonic plague found in China's Inner Mongolia

    Singularity Financial Hong Kong 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.

    The Bayannur municipal health commission said in a press release that the people's hospital in Urad Middle Banner reported the suspected bubonic plague case on Saturday. The second suspected case involved a 15-year-old, who had apparently been in contact with a marmot hunted by a dog, a tweet from Global Times said. 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 Xinhua. The commission urged the public to beef up self-protection as the city has the risk of people-to-people infections and not to hunt and eat animals that could cause plague infections.

    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. Modern antibiotics can prevent complications and death if administered quickly enough.

    Bubonic plague, which is one of plague's three forms, causes painful, swollen lymph nodes, as well as fever, chills, and coughing.

    "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.

    CNN report said, 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.

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