Published: Tue, November 19, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Explainer: Don't panic about China's "Black Death" plague cases

Explainer: Don't panic about China's

According to state-run news agency Xinhua, the unidentified patient was believed to have become infected with the plague after catching and eating a wild rabbit in Inner Mongolia's Huade county. Even though outbreaks in China are rare, large parts of the northwestern city of Yumen were sealed off in 2014 after a 38-year-old resident died of the bubonic plague known as "Black Death" in the middle Ages and is also caused by the same bacterium.

Two patients from Xilingol League were diagnosed with pneumonic plague in Beijing on Tuesday. The man, who was not identified, became ill after eating wild rabbit meat on November 5, according to the outlet.

At least 28 other people who had close contact with the man are also isolated and "under observation", per Reuters, which noted they do not appear to be showing any symptoms of the disease at this time.

Bites from infected fleas are the most common cause of bubonic plague infection, but the pneumonic variant - where the bacterium is breathed into the lungs - is more unsafe because it is spread through coughing.

Bubonic plague is the most common form of plague globally and can advance and spread to the lungs, which is more severe type called pneumonic plague, according to the World Health Organization.

Fan Mengguang, deputy director of Inner Mongolia's disease prevention and control centre, told the media that the latest case is "isolated and unrelated" to the cases in Beijing.

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Pneumonic plague is the most deadly form of the disease.

As per reports, the rodent population has increased in Inner Mongolia after prolonged droughts which have been severe due to climate crisis.

Of the three plague variants, pneumonic is the most virulent and is fatal if left untreated.

Plague might be lethal in as much as 90% of women and men contaminated if not addressed, largely with numerous sorts of antibiotics.

No new case of plague was found in the region, the statement said.

China has vastly improved its detection and administration of infectious well being situations contemplating that the 2003 outbreak of the extraordinary acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, that led to 774 deaths, primarily in China and Hong Kong.

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