UPDATED 7/15, 10:45 p.m. ET: A 15-year-old boy died in western Mongolia from the bubonic plague, CNN reports.
A spokesperson for Mongolia's Ministry of Health said the teen died on Sunday after consuming marmot, which are large ground squirrels. A quarantine was enacted in the area after the case was confirmed. 15 people who have come into contact with the teen have also been isolated though they are all reportedly healthy.
CNN noted that Mongolia has seen 692 recorded marmot plague cases between the years of 1928 and 2018 with 74% of those people dying from the disease.
UPDATED 7/7, 12:45 p.m. ET: The reported case of bubonic plague in China’s Inner Mongolia has been verified. “The case was confirmed and officially diagnosed by doctors on Tuesday. The patient is being isolated and treated in hospital, and is in stable condition,” CNN writes, citing state-run publication Xinhua.
As previously reported, a citywide Level 3 warning (the second-least serious in a four-level system) went into place on Sunday and will remain in place through 2020.
See original story below.
Authorities in China have identified what is believed to be a case of the bubonic plague, the disease responsible for the most fatal pandemic in human history. State-run news agency Xinhua reports that the case was discovered in Bayannur, a city located northwest of Beijing. Authorities and health officials in the China's Inner Mongolia region are on high alert as a result of the case, with a hospital alerting local authorities of the case on Saturday.
On Sunday, a citywide Level 3 warning for plague prevention was issued. It is expected that the warning will be in place until the end of 2020, and the patient is currently under treatment at a local hospital. While they are in a stable condition as of right now, authorities have warned there is a risk of human-to-human infection. Citizens in the region have been urged to report any dead animals or suspected plague cases.
One of the three forms of the plague, the bubonic plague causes its victims to flare up with swollen lymph nodes and a fever, chills, and coughing. "At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city. The public should improve its self-protection awareness and ability, and report abnormal health conditions promptly," said the local health authority, state-run newspaper China Daily reports.
The plague was responsible for the Black Death, a pandemic which resulted in the deaths of somewhere between 75 million to 200 million people worldwide between the years 1346 and 1353. This isn't the first time cases of the plague have been reported in recent years, however, as Inner Mongolia reported numerous cases last year.
Despite the high fatality rate of the plague centuries ago, it can now be treated through the use of antibiotics. The news still sent Twitter users into a flurry, lamenting the constant barrage of misery that is 2020.