On July 5th, authorities in a city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia have issued a warning after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague.
The bubonic plague makes COVID-19 seem like a light flu.
Local health authorities in China have reported a suspected bubonic plague case in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Plague can be fatal in up to 90% of people infected if not treated, primarily with several types of antibiotics. https://t.co/jxoa7p7dXm
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 6, 2020
The health committee of the city of Bayan Nur issued the third-level alert. “Third-level” is actually the 2nd lowest degree in a four-step system, making “first-level” the highest.
The bubonic plague, known as the “Black Death” in the Middle Ages, comes from the bacterium, Yersinia pestis, and is a highly infectious and often fatal disease spread mostly by rodents via fleas.
It killed between 75 and 200 million people in the 14th century, and at least 30 to 50 million from the year 541 to 549.
According to the WHO website, the lung-based pneumonic plague is extremely contagious and “can trigger severe epidemics through person-to-person contact via droplets in the air”.
Symptoms include fever, chills, vomiting and nausea.
If it is not immediately treated, it’s fatal in 90% of cases.
This is not the first time that cases of the plague were reported in China, with there officially being 26 cases and 11 deaths between 2009 and 2018.
China’s state-owned Global Times also reported on the case of bubonic plague.
Bayan Nur city of N. China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Saturday reported a suspected case of the #BubonicPlague and issued a level III early warning on Sunday, urging residents to strictly follow prevention and control measures regarding the handling of wild animals. pic.twitter.com/egj3fDuntK
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) July 5, 2020
It should also be noted that the United States actually has more cases than China of bubonic plague each year between 1970 and 2018.
In recent decades, an average of seven human plague cases have been reported each year. The range is 1-17, with 17 being reported in 2006, and 16 in 2015. In 2015 there were 4 deaths from it.
Over 80% of United States plague cases have been the bubonic form. In recent decades, an average of seven human plague cases have been reported each year (range: 1–17 cases per year). Plague has occurred in people of all ages (infants up to age 96), though 50% of cases occur in people ages 12–45. It occurs in both men and women, though historically is slightly more common among men, probably because of increased outdoor activities that put them at higher risk.
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