China is on alert after Bubonic Plague cases: Do we need to panic?

After the cases of Covid-19, it could be the Bubonic plague which can make the world worried. The Chinese authorities applied a high alert in the region of Inner Mongolia after they suspected the cases of Bubonic plague. It is not considered a new threat, but it can be proved deadly if left untreated for a long time. This disease was also named as “Black Death” pandemic centuries ago,  caused a great amount of damage. In the 14th century, it has been estimated that almost 50 million people have been killed in Europe alone. Over 3200 were infected worldwide resulting in 584 deaths, between 2000 and 2015. It is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria  Yersinia pestis mostly found in rodents. It is transmitted through flea bites, infected animals, or the inhalation of infected respiratory droplets. The plague has three forms, bubonic plague, which is one of them, causes painful, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, fatigue as well as fever, chills, and headaches. It is one of the deadliest bacterial infections in human history. 

The authorities are saying that there is an urge of maintaining a distance to minimize the risk of human-to-human transmission and avoid hunting or eating animals that could cause the infection. And also avoid touching dead or sick animals such as marmot, Byanmor authorities ordered the public to report as soon as they find such animals. In the meantime, some precautions are taken by Russia as well, they set up a patrol system that will stop people who are hunting marmots on its border with Mongolia and China.

What will happen if the Bubonic Plague is left untreated? 

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When the bubonic plague is left untreated, the bacteria can invade the bloodstream and multiply itself, and if this happens they can spread rapidly throughout the body and cause a severe fatal condition called septicemic plague. It can also bring huge damage to the lungs by causing pneumonic plague. The infection can also be spread through the air from infected humans and animals. It can be considered as a very serious illness but it can be treated with early diagnosis and antibiotics within a period of 7 to 14 days. If they left untreated, the fatality rate in the body will be 30-100% and they can still die. 

On July 1, there were two bubonic plague cases were confirmed in Khovd province of Western Mongolia, a 27-year-old resident and his 17-year-old brother who had both eaten marmot meat. They are being treated at separate hospitals. According to Narangarel, they had been in contact with a total of 146 people who are all being treated in separate hospitals right now. Two more people were found with the infectious disease known as pneumonic plague, another form of the disease, which infects the lungs, found on the border across Inner Mongolia. While one man in Gansu Province died.

The precautions against this plague show the level of the irresponsibility of Chinese health authorities have even after the country has faced numerous challenges with the current coronavirus pandemic. The northern Magnolia faced the same plague a year ago where two herders died after eating marmot meat and extracting the disease. The Chinese research labs, last week, found out different symptoms of H1N1 swine flu discovered in pig farmers known as G4, having the potential to cause another pandemic. This grabs an international concern. 

Is there a risk of the human plague epidemic in the city?

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Bubonic plague cases are rare but the symptoms still show up time-to-time in the human body. In 2017, there were more than 300 cases of this disease during an outbreak in Madagascar and the research said only 30 people died. 

However, it is unlikely that it will lead to an epidemic. As we have full knowledge about this disease, unlike COVID-19 spread. According to the CDC, prompt treatment with antibiotics and diagnosis can lower the risk of death to approximately 11%. So, there is pretty much no chance for a pandemic to be done like previously. 


Dr. Shanti Kappagodha, an infectious disease master at Stanford Heath Case, said, “Unlike the 14th century, we know now have the understanding of how the disease will be transmitted. We can prevent it.”

WHO is personally monitoring the case, and said that it is  ‘no high risk’

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