Health Care

Mongolia lifts quarantine after couple dies from eating raw marmot meat

Mongolia lifts quarantine after couple dies from eating raw marmot meat”

According to AFP, on May 1, 2019, a Mongolian couple ate raw marmot meat including the rodent's kidney and died after contracting the bubonic plague.

Their deaths sparked panic aboard a plane and forced authorities to place the western Bayan Olgii province, bordering both Russian Federation and China, under what they called an "indefinite quarantine" - leaving tourists stranded.

Six-day quarantine declared in the region, preventing tourists from leaving.

Authorities have warned people against eating raw marmot meat because it can carry Yersinia pestis, the plague germ. But many ignore those warnings because they believe eating marmots is a folk remedy for good health. Antibiotics are now available to effectively treat the illness but without prompt treatment, the disease can still cause serious illness or even death.

Plague cases are rare in the United States, but incidents do occur in Asia and Africa the CDC reports.

Sebastian Pique, 24, an American Peace Corps volunteer who has lived in the region for two years, said he and the tourists were invited to the local governor's office on Friday to be informed about the situation.

The quarantine was lifted on Monday, the BBC reported.

Symptoms of the bubonic plague are swelling of the lymph nodes, weakness, chills, headache, and fever.

However there is no inter-human transmission of bubonic plague, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In the Middle Ages, the bubonic plague otherwise known as "The Black Death" killed millions. Pneumonic plague, which is more severe but less frequent, spreads to the lungs and can be transmitted via coughing.

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