July 23, 2014

CHINA: 150 People Under Quarantine After Plague Breaks Out In Western China. Lovely :/

The Telegraph UK
written by Malcolm Moore, Beijing
Tuesday July 22, 2014

More than 150 people are under quarantine in the far western Chinese city of Yumen after a 38-year-old man died from pneumonic plague.

The man died last week, three days after finding a dead marmot on the grasslands outside Yumen in Gansu province and chopping it up to feed to his dogs.

Rodents living on the grasslands of Gansu, Qinghai and Inner Mongolia are responsible for one or two cases of plague each year, on average. In 2004, there was a mini-outbreak of 13 cases in Qinghai.

Because of the virulence of the disease, China has built a rapid response network, with 400 counties monitoring plague transmission among animals and watching for signs of human cases.

As a result, officials quickly cordoned off four areas where the man had been in contact with others: the patch of grassland where he found the marmot, the nearest town, his home village and the area in Yumen where he was treated.

More than 150 people who came into contact with him have been put under observation and quarantined, but officials said there had not been any signs of further infection.

Pneumonic plague is one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, according to the World Health Organisation. It is caused by the bacterium Yersinia Pestis, which is also responsible for its two sister diseases, bubonic plague and septicaemic plague.

Meanwhile, four cases of pneumonic plague have recently been reported in Colorado, in the United States, after a dog was infected by a rodent carrying the disease.

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