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Patient in Inner Mongolia dies from plague

By YANG WANLI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-08-08 08:25


North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region confirmed one case of bubonic plague in Baotou city after a resident who caught an intestinal type of plague died, according to the local health authority.

The case was reported in the city's Sujixin village in Darhan Muminggan Joint Banner. The patient, who died of circulatory system failure, was confirmed to have "intestinal-type plague", which includes diarrhea, severe abdominal pain and high fever, the city's health commission said on Thursday.

Baotou has sealed off the village where the patient lived and quarantined the patient's close contacts, who have tested negative for the disease so far and taken preventive medicines, the health commission said in a statement.

It said 35 people-nine close contacts and 26 other close contacts with those nine people-are currently under quarantine. "All of them have taken drugs as prevention and their nucleic acid tests have all been negative so far," said the statement.

Baotou has issued a Level 3 warning for plague prevention and control that will last until the end of 2020-a warning of the risks of human-to-human infection and urging residents to report dead animals.

The plague, caused by bacteria and transmitted through flea bites and infected animals, killed tens of millions of people in Europe during the Black Death in the Middle Ages.

Bubonic plague, which is one of the plague's three forms, causes painful, swollen lymph nodes, as well as fever, chills and coughing. Modern antibiotics can prevent complications and death if administered quickly enough.

Baotou health authorities urged the public to beef up self-protection and not to hunt or eat animals that could cause plague infections.

They also called on the public to report any findings of ill or dead marmots and other animals, and report suspected plague cases, high fever patients with unknown reasons and any patients who die suddenly.

In July, Bayannuur in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region reported a case of bubonic plague. The patient visited source areas of bubonic plague before getting sick and is now in stable condition.

Bubonic plague is spread by fleas living on wild rodents such as marmots. It can kill an adult in less than 24 hours if not treated in time, according to the World Health Organization.

The plague is one of two infectious diseases that are classified as Grade A in China, along with cholera. The Chinese mainland reported a total of five plague cases last year, with one death, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts from China CDC suggested visitors traveling to the grassland not eat wildlife and should not camp on the grassland overnight.

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