China Confirmed Bubonic Plague or Black Death Occurred in Inner Mongolia


Bubonic Plague in China

A shepherd in Inner Mongolia, China, tested positive for bubonic plague. The virus is the cause of the black death plague that killed millions of people in the 14th century.

Bayannur City Health Service said the virus was detected in the herdsman on Sunday (5/7). Citing the New York Times, Tuesday (07/07/2020), he is now being treated in hospital and is in a stable condition.

The local Health Office also issues level three out of four warnings (with the highest level 1 warning). They forbid people to hunt, consume, or carry animals that have the potential to have zoonotic diseases, especially marmots.

They also appealed to the public to report if they found dead rats around. The Bayannur City Government said they had taken steps to prevent the bubonic plague for the rest of the year.

Last November 2019, the Beijing City government reported that two people from Inner Mongolia had pneumonia caused by the same bacteria.

Causes of Black Death

Bubonic plague or black death is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis which was transmitted by fleas that infected by rats. Black Death is also referred to as Pestilence or Great Mortality, and is said to be the worst plague in human history. From 1347-1353, an estimated 75-100 million lives were lost due to the plague. The last terrifying plague occurred in London in 1665, killing around one fifth of the city’s population.

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At that time, Black Death was predicted to originate from Central Asia or East Asia where bacteria spread from the host (rats / guinea pigs) through flea transmission. Of the two regions, Black Death traveled through the Silk Road to arrive in Crimea in 1347.

From there the plague spread to the Mediterranean region, Africa, Western Asia, and several European regions, including Constantinople, Sicily, and the Italian Peninsula.

The plague outbreak cases have been reported regularly throughout the world. The country of Madagascar in Africa faces more than 300 cases during the outbreak in 2017.

Black Death Symptoms and Quarantine

The disease is called Black Death because of its symptoms. One symptom of this disease is putrefaction in the body area (majority of fingers), which makes the skin turn black. Other symptoms include fever which ranges from 38 – 41 degrees Celsius, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, and vomiting.

Until now, no one knows the cause of the cessation of this deadly plague, but scientists say it must have something to do with quarantine.

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At that time, the government of the port city of Ragusa in Italy quarantined sailors to prove that they did not carry the disease. Initially, the sailors were detained on their ship for 30 days. Venetian law names this condition as trentino. Then, the isolation period increased to 40 days, known as quarantine, the origin of the words quarantine.

However, the bubonic plague is unlikely to cause an epidemic, experts say.

“Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted,” Dr. Shanti Kappagoda, a doctor of infectious diseases at Stanford Health Care, told the Heathline news website.

“We know how to prevent it. We can also treat infected patients with effective antibiotics,” he added.


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