A herdsman in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia recently tested positive for for the bubonic plague. The Bayannur city health commission said the plague was diagnosed in the herdsman on Sunday, and he was in stable condition undergoing treatment at a hospital. The commission also issued a third-level alert, the second lowest in a four-level system, warning people against hunting, eating or transporting potentially infected animals, particularly marmots, and to report any dead or diseased rodents. At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city. The public should improve its self-protection awareness and ability, and report abnormal health conditions promptly," the local health authority said, according to China Daily.
The city government said it had put in place plague-prevention measures that would remain in force for the rest of the year. The disease, which caused the Black Death in the Middle Ages, is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacterium and is transmitted by fleas that become infected by rodents. In Inner Mongolia, the host is often marmots that live in rural areas. The neighboring country of Mongolia was also investigating a suspected case of bubonic plague involving a 15-year-old, who had apparently been in contact with a marmot hunted by a dog, The Global Times said on Twitter. On Monday, Mongolia announced that it had lifted restrictions in Khovd Province after two cases of bubonic plague linked to the consumption of marmot meat were reported a week ago. Health officials said the patients’ conditions had improved