Suspected bubonic plague case reported in Yunnan Province of China

China’s Yunnan province recently reported a suspected case of Bubonic plague after Inner Mongolia recorded two deaths due to deadly disease.

A level-IV emergency response has been launched to prevent the spread of the plague in Menghai county of Southwest China’s Yunnan Province after two deaths caused by the disease sparked public concerns in North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in August.

A 3-year-old child was diagnosed with a suspected case of bubonic plague, Yunnan local authorities said. Officials from the county government told state media that the boy is the only infected case found so far and is suffering from mild symptoms. Local disease control authorities initially concluded on September 21 that a rat plague occurred in Menghai county.

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. In July, China confirmed a case of bubonic plague in the northern province of Inner Mongolia.

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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