Skip to main content
Bubonic plague

Mongolian bubonic plague outbreak has now also been reported in China

The plague, or Black Death, claimed millions of lives in the Middle Ages in an area ranging from China to Europe. The figure depicted here is wearing contemporary protective gear against contamination.
The plague, or Black Death, claimed millions of lives in the Middle Ages in an area ranging from China to Europe. The figure depicted here is wearing contemporary protective gear against contamination. © Wikimedia commons

China has reported a case of bubonic plague in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The news coincides with a report from the adjacent Republic of Mongolia where health authorities have identified two cases.

Advertising

Five days after Mongolia reported two cases of the bubonic plague, Chinese health authorities have now indicated that the illness has also been detected on Chinese soil.

The City Health Commission of Bayanur reported on 5 July 5th a case of bubonic plague in a hospital in the Urad Middle Banner, a district in Chinese Inner Mongolia that borders the independent Republic of Mongolia.

According to China’s official Xinhua News Agency, Chinese health authorities jumped into action, issuing plague prevention measures with the cryptic title "three no’s, three reports," along the lines of steps used against the Covid-19 virus.

According to the measures, there is to be no more hunting of “epidemic” animals like rodents or marmots; the transportation of marmots is forbidden; all dead animals must be reported immediately, as must people who are thought to have high fever or show other symptoms; the health authorities must be informed of all “sudden deaths”.

The public is warned not to enter the area, to “self-protect” with face masks and to “report in a timely manner” fever or “other uncomfortable symptoms”.

The warning comes five days after Mongolia’s National Center for Zoonotic Diseases (NCZD) reported two cases of the disease, also linking them to the consumption of marmot meat.

Locations where health authorities in Mongolia and China reported cases of bubonic plague.
Locations where health authorities in Mongolia and China reported cases of bubonic plague. © Google maps

Descendants of the bubonic plague

Last year, Mongolia also declared quarantine in Bayan Olgyi province in the west, after two plague cases were detected there. At the time, the Russian Tass news agency reported that 17 Russian tourists had been unable to leave the country for several weeks.

The World Health Organisation says that direct descendants of the bacteria responsible for the bubonic plague that killed 50 million people in the 14th century still exist today. 

One form is prevalent in wild rodents. “In some areas," according to the WHO, "contact between wild and domestic rats is common, resulting in sporadic cases of human plague and occasional outbreaks.’’

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Page not found

The content you requested does not exist or is not available anymore.