China issues bubonic plague EPIDEMIC warning after herder catches 'Black Death' that once wiped out 60% of Europe

China issues bubonic plague EPIDEMIC warning after herder catches 'Black Death' that once wiped out 60% of Europe

July 6, 2020

HEALTH bosses in China have issued an early epidemic warning after a confirmed case of bubonic plague.

There are fears the localised outbreak could escalate as the country still battles against coronavirus.

However, experts say there's no chance of the bubonic plague snowballing into a global pandemic, like Covid-19.

Speaking to Healthline, Dr Shanti Kappagoda, an infectious diseases doctor at Stanford Health Care said: "Unlike in the 14th Century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted.

"We know how to prevent it. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics."

Local reports say the plague patient is a herdsman from the city of Bayan Nur, in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region in northern China.

A third-level warning was issued, forbidding the hunting and eating of animals that could carry the plague.

The public have also been urged to report any suspected cases of plague or fever with no clear causes, and to report any sick or dead marmots – animals which can spread the disease.

There was also a fresh plague scare in the province of Bayan-Ulgii in neighbouring Mongolia, which shares a border with both Russia and China.

And a 15-year-old resident of Ulaankhus soum, also in Mongolia, was taken to a local hospital on Sunday with a high fever after eating a marmot hunted by a dog.

In the 14th Century the black death – a collection of plagues including bubonic plague – tore through the globe making it the most deadly recorded pandemic in history.

It killed 200 million people across Africa, Asia and Europe wiping out 60 per cent of Europe's population.

The medieval disease is easily treatable with modern medicine – but left untreated, most infected will die within a week.

Video from Mongolia shows how hundreds of people have been vaccinated after coming into direct or indirect contact with the brothers.

So far there are no further known cases from this outbreak, but officials remain on high alert.

The bubonic plague, known as the "Black Death" in the Middle Ages, is a highly infectious and often fatal disease that is spread mostly by rodents.

History of the Black Death

The Black Death was an epidemic of bubonic plague which struck Europe and Asia in the 1300s.

It killed more than 20 million people in Europe – almost one third of the continent's population between 1347-1352

Scientists now know that the plague was spread by a bacillus known as yersina pestis.

The bacteria can travel through the air as well as through the bites of infected fleas and rats.

Bubonic plague can cause swelling of the lymph notes. If untreated it could spread to the blood and lungs.

Other symptoms included fever, vomiting and chills.

Some believed that the Black Death was a "divine punishment" – a form of retribution for sins against God.

Physicians relied on treatments such as boil-lancing to bathing in vinegar as they tried to treat people with the plague.

It's characterised by flu-like symptoms and the appearance of buboes, raised, seeping welts on the neck, groin and armpits.

Plague cases are not uncommon in China, but outbreaks have become increasingly rare.

From 2009 to 2018, China reported 26 cases and 11 deaths.

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