China’s Yunnan province confirms a case of Bubonic plague after inner Mongolia records two deaths

No new cases have been reported. Local disease control authorities initially concluded on September 21 that a rat plague occurred in Menghai county.

A level-IV emergency response has been launched to prevent the spread of the plague in Menghai county of Southwest China’s Yunnan Province.  In July, China confirmed a case of bubonic plague in the northern province of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region which led to two deaths in August and sparked public concerns.

The local authority have reminded residents to quickly report if they had any contact with the dead rats and seek medical advice if they show fever-like symptoms. Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium, ‘Yersinia pestis’. Infected rats are a key source of the disease, which also transmits to humans typically through bites from infected fleas. People can also get infected through direct contact with an infected animal, through inhalation and in the case of pneumonic plague, person to person.

‘Yersinia pestis’ is treatable with antibiotics if started early enough. There are three forms of human plague; bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.

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