Chennai: China has sounded an alert after a suspected case of the bubonic plague was reported in Bayan Nur, in the northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
According to the state-run People’s Daily Online, a level III warning of plague prevention and control has been issued.
The alert asks people to immediately report any sick or dead marmot (large and heavy rodents that resemble squirrels), and forbids the hunting and eating of animals that could carry the plague.
Last week, Chinese news agency Xinhua had reported two suspected cases of bubonic plague in Khovd province in western Mongolia—two brothers had consumed marmot meat.
Indian news agency PTI quoted the local health authority as saying: “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.”
As per reports, the authorities announced that the warning period will continue until the end of 2020.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the disease is caused by the bacteria Yersinia Pestis, a zoonotic bacteria usually found in small mammals and their fleas, with the symptoms of the disease appearing after an incubation period of one to seven days. The disease usually spreads from bites of fleas that have fed upon infected creatures like mice, rats, rabbits and squirrels.