China Confirms Third Case Of Bubonic Plague This Month

first published on November 18, 2019 by

Chinese health officials have confirmed the third case of bubonic plague this month, as a 55-year-old man contracted the severe illness after eating a rabbit.

All three cases have originated in inner Mongolia, although the most recent case is not believed to be connected to the first two. The patient has been isolated and is receiving treatment. Nearly 30 more people that have had close contact with the man are currently under quarantine for medical observation.

The two patients in the earlier cases had made their way to densely populated Beijing before they were diagnosed. Their plague had worsened to pneumonic plague, an even more severe, contagious form of the illness.

bubonic plague

The bubonic plague was known as the Black Death in the Middle Ages and wiped out nearly 60 percent of the European population, with a staggering estimated kill count of nearly 200 million people across the Eurasion continent.

The plague disease is caused by Yersinia pestis, which is commonly carried by fleas that infest rodent populations. It causes various symptoms including (bot not limited to); vomiting blood, open pus sores, massively swollen lymph nodes, and the notorious acral gangrene which causes the skin and flesh to die and turn black.

It is believed that persistent droughts across Mongolia have caused grasslands to dry up, thereby forcing high concentrations of rats to take up residence in densely populated urban areas. The infected fleas would quickly infest local rabbit farms.

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