Breaking News: After Coronavirus and swine flu, a city in China now issues warning for bubonic plague

Bubonic plague
Representational image, Effect of Bubonic plague (Photo Credits: BBC)

On Sunday, China had reportedly announced a level III warning in Bayan Nur in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, following a suspected case of bubonic plague, a deadly bacterial disease. The case was reported on Saturday and local health authorities had informed that the warning period would continue till the end of the year.

Local health authorities in Bayan Nur conceded that there was a high risk of the bubonic plague spreading in the city. They also urged people to report abnormal health conditions immediately for self-protection. Also called the black death, bubonic plague is spread by rodents and can kill a person in less than a day, if left untreated.

Last week, state-owned Xinhua news had reported two confirmed patients of bubonic plaque in Khovd province of Western Mongolia. Reportedly, they consumed marmot (a wild rodent found in the region) meat and came in contact with about 146 people. The patients were treated at separate hospitals. One of them was a 27-year-old man and the other was his 17-year-old brother. Last year, a couple had died of bubonic plague in Bayan-Ulgii of Western Mongolia after consuming raw marmot meat. As such, health officials have now cautioned people from not eating marmot meat.

New swine flu virus with ‘pandemic potential’ in China

Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic that had infected more than 1 cr people and killed over 5 lacs worldwide, researchers had reportedly found a new strain for swine flu in China which possesses genes of pandemic potential. Even though the flu virus was transmitted from pigs, scientists feared that it could mutate and facilitate human-to-human transmission. A study found that about 4.4% of the general population had already been exposed to the new strain of the Swine flu virus. While researchers had noted that the new strain from swine flu was not an immediate problem but had the potential of a global outbreak and thus required close monitoring. Professor Kin-Chow Chang observed, “Right now we are distracted with coronavirus and rightly so. But we must not lose sight of potentially dangerous new viruses. We should not ignore it.”

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