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Report: Bubonic Plague Outbreak Rocks China, 30,000 Quarantined

If that headline make you feel a bit unnerved, it should.

According to Reuters, China has set up quarantine zones (home to about 30,000) in parts of the northwestern city of Yumen, following the death of a resident there who died of bubonic plague last week.

“A 38-year-old victim was infected by a marmot, a wild rodent, and died on July 16. Several districts of the city of about 100,000 people in Gansu province were subsequently turned into special quarantine zones, Xinhua said.”

The deadly bacterial disease is best known for a spate of epidemics between 1346 – 53, killing an estimated 30 – 60% of the European population.

Of the 151 people who came into direct contact with the victim, fortunately none have shown any signs of infection thus far, according to Xinhua.

Jiuquan Daily, a local newspaper, said that the city had set aside $161,200 for emergency vaccinations.

The plague, which is carried and spread by the fleas of wild rodents, is uncommon in the country.

“China's state broadcaster said there were 12 diagnosed cases and three deaths in the province of Qinghai in 2009, and one in Sichuan in 2012,” said Reuters.

Beijing's disease control center said on its website (www.bjcdc.org) that the risk of the disease spreading to the capital was “minimal.”

That makes us feel better…


A previous version of this article stated that 100,000 people were quarantined, it has been corrected as 30,000.

[Reuters]

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