China reported a case of Bubonic Plague

WHO says monitoring the situation in China

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was monitoring a case of bubonic plague in China after being reported by the authorities in Beijing. A herdsman in China's northern Inner Mongolia region was confirmed at the weekend to have the bubonic plague. The man stated to be in a stable condition in hospital.
According to China's official news agency Xinhua, two other cases were confirmed in Khovd province in neighbouring Mongolia last week involving brothers, who had eaten marmot meat. Xinhua said that in neighbouring Mongolia, another suspected case, involving a 15-year-old boy who had a fever after eating a marmot hunted by a dog, was reported on Monday.

WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters through a video conference that “bubonic plague has been with us and is always with us, for centuries. We are looking at the case numbers in China. It's being well managed. At the moment, we are not considering it high-risk but we're watching it, monitoring it carefully."
                                          
She said the WHO was working in partnership with the Chinese and Mongolian authorities. The UN health agency said it was notified by China on July 6 of a case of bubonic plague in Inner Mongolia.
"Plague is rare, typically found in selected geographical areas across the globe where it is still endemic," the agency said, adding that sporadic cases of plague have been reported in China over the last decade.
"Bubonic plague is the most common form and is transmitted between animals and humans through the bite of infected fleas and direct contact with carcases of infected small animals. It is not easily transmitted between people."
Though the highly-contagious plague is rare in China and can be treated, at least five people have died from it since 2014, according to China's National Health Commission.Bubonic plague is the most common form of the disease that people can get. The name comes from the symptoms it causes - painful, swollen lymph nodes or 'buboes' in the groin or armpit. From 2010 to 2015 there were 3,248 cases reported worldwide, including 584 deaths.
Historically, it has also been called the Black Death, in reference to the gangrenous blackening and death of body parts, such as the fingers and toes that can happen with the illness. A person usually becomes ill with bubonic plague between two and six days after being infected.
Along with the tender, enlarged lymph nodes, that can be as large as a chicken egg, other symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and tiredness.
The current alert in China forbids the hunting and eating of animals that could carry plague. Plague still exists in many parts of the world. In recent years there have been outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar. Although plague has been the cause of widespread disease outbreaks in medieval times, any outbreaks today are thankfully small.
BBC has quoted Dr Matthew Dryden, consultant microbiologist at the University of Southampton in the UK, said: "It is good that this has been picked up and reported at an early stage because it can be isolated, treated and spread prevented.
"Bubonic plague is caused by a bacterium and so, unlike Covid-19, is readily treated with antibiotics. So although this might appear alarming, being another major infectious disease emerging from the East, it appears to be a single suspected case which can be readily treated."
                                                                          Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor

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