Health Care

Couple dies from bubonic plague after eating marmot meat

Couple dies from bubonic plague after eating marmot meat”

A Mongolian couple died of bubonic plague in the westernmost province of Bayan-Ulgii, after eating raw marmot kidney which triggered a quarantine. The outlet reports that the quarantine started on May 1, and that a spokesperson with the World Health Organization confirmed that the couple had consumed raw marmot meat and kidney.

The deaths prompted a quarantine situation in Mongolia's Bayan Olgii province, which sits on the border of Russian Federation and China.

According to Ochirpurev, the 118 people who had come into contact with the couple were all isolated and treated with antibiotics. Part of that, there were seven tourists coming from Sweden, South Korea, Kazakhstan, and Switzerland. As of Tuesday, the quarantine had been lifted.

Sebastian Pique, an American Peace Corps volunteer in the region, told AFP that the streets in the area have been clear due to those being afraid of contracting the disease.

All types of plague are caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which is zoonotic, meaning it can be passed on to humans from animals, usually from fleas that have fed on infected rodents, but also through consuming infected meat. Today, modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague.

Symptoms of bubonic plague include fever, headache, chills and weakness, as well as "painful lymph nodes", the CDC site states. After six days, and no further cases of plague the quarantine was lifted, but the ministry of health is continuing to monitor the situation.

But the plague - which killed some 50 million people in the 12th century when it was known as the Black Death - is still doing the rounds, as the recent death of two people in Mongolia has brought to the fore.

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