Chinese county launches emergency response for the PLAGUE

Chinese county launches emergency response for the PLAGUE after a three-year-old boy was infected with the Black Death

  • China found a new case of bubonic plague in Menghai county, Yunnan province
  • Boy, three, was confirmed to have been infected with the disease on Sunday 
  • Officials made inspections, imposed quarantines and tested patients with fever
  • Came after two people died of the plague in China’s Inner Mongolia last month

Authorities from a south-western Chinese county have recorded a new case of bubonic plague over the weekend as officials have activated an emergency response to prevent the disease from spreading.

A three-year-old boy from a remote village in Menghai country of Yunnan province was confirmed to have infected with the bubonic plague on Sunday, according to state media.

It comes as China’s Inner Mongolia region, near the Chinese border with Mongolia, has reported two deaths caused by the plague in August, prompting the authorities to impose partial lockdowns and quarantine residents.

Authorities from a south-western Chinese county have recorded a new case of bubonic plague over the weekend as officials have activated an emergency response for the disease. The file photo shows workers disinfecting a railway station in Kunming, Yunnan on February 4

A three-year-old boy from a remote village in Menghai country of Yunnan province was confirmed to have infected with the bubonic plague on Sunday, according to state media

China is also facing the threat of the disease spreading from its neighbouring country Mongolia, which have declared at least 17 out of all 21 provinces in the country are at risk of bubonic plague.

Bubonic plague, known as the ‘Black Death’ in the Middle Ages, is one of the most devastating diseases in history, having killed around 100million people in the 14th century.

The Menghai authorities launched a level-four emergency response on Friday after reporting the young patient as a suspected case of bubonic plague on Friday, according to a notice.

The statement said that the patient had mild symptoms and was in stable condition after treatment.

The officials did not specify how the child had been infected but said that a rat plague had occurred in the county on September 21 after three rats were found dead for unknown reasons

The officials did not specify how the child had been infected but said that a rat plague had occurred in the county on September 21 after three rats were found dead for unknown reasons in a village.

The boy was diagnosed during a county-wide screening for the disease following the rat plague, said the notice.

He was confirmed to have been infected with the bubonic plague yesterday, according to state media, citing the Yunnan health authorities.

National and provincial officials had arrived in Menghai as part of the government’s emergency response for the plague while teams of medical workers made inspections, imposed quarantines and screened suspected patients with fevers.

The news comes after China has reported two deaths caused by the plague since January.

On August 6, the Baotou city health commission confirmed a resident died of a different form of the disease four days earlier.

The city of Baotou, in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, said the victim had contracted the enteric plague.

China is also facing the threat of the disease spreading from its neighbouring country Mongolia, which have declared at least 17 out of all 21 provinces in the country are at risk of bubonic plague. The picture shows a health worker conducting anti-plague disinfection in Kosh-Agach district, a municipality in Russia bordering Mongolia

A second victim died from multiple organ failure in a case of the bubonic plague, the Bayan Nur health commission of Inner Mongolia said on the following day.

The bubonic plague, one of the four forms of the disease, is one of the most devastating diseases in history.

The enteric plague, also known as the pharyngeal plague, attacks a person’s digestive system and can arise as a result of exposure to infectious aerosols or by ingestion of infected meat.

The other forms of the disease are the pneumonic plague, a severe lung infection, and the septicemic plague, which affects a person’s blood systems.

China has largely eradicated the plague, but occasional cases are still reported.

The last major known outbreak of the disease was in 2009 when several people died in the town of Ziketan in Qinghai province on the Tibetan Plateau.

However, British health experts have said that no evidence shows bubonic plague can be passed from one person to another, therefore it is unlikely to trigger another health crisis.

What is the bubonic plague? 

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which is carried by fleas and transmitted between animals.

The bubonic plague – the most common form – is caused by the bite of an infected flea and can spread through contact with infectious bodily fluids or contaminated materials. 

Patients may show signs of fever and nausea and at an advanced stage may develop open sores filled with pus.  

It devastated Europe in the Middle Ages, most notably in the Black Death of the 1340s which killed a third or more of the continent’s population. 

After the Black Death plague became a common phenomenon in Europe, with outbreaks recurring regularly until the 18th century. 

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which is carried by fleas and transmitted between animals. The picture above is a 3D illustration of the bacterium

When the Great Plague of 1665 hit, a fifth of people in London died, with victims shut in their homes and red crosses painted on the door. 

Bubonic plague has almost completely vanished from the rich world, with 90 per cent of all cases now found in Africa. 

It is now treatable with antibiotics, as long as they are administered quickly. 

Still, there have been a few non-fatal cases in the U.S., with an average of seven reported a year, according to disease control bosses. 

From 2010 to 2015 there were 3,248 cases reported worldwide, including 584 deaths, says the World Health Organisation. 

Some plague vaccines have been developed, but none are available to the general public. 

The WHO does not recommend vaccination except for high-risk groups such as health care workers.  

Without antibiotics, the bubonic strain can spread to the lungs – where it becomes the more virulent pneumonic form.  

Pneumonic plague, which can kill within 24 hours, can then be passed on through coughing, sneezing or spitting.  

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