Plague kills man in NW China
LANZHOU, July 18 (Xinhua) — A 38-year-old man in northwest China’s Gansu Province has died of plague, local authorities said.
The case was reported in Yumen City under the jurisdiction of Jiuquan City, the Jiuquan government said on Thursday. The man, who died on Wednesday, had been in contact with a dead marmot, which is of the squirrel family.
A total of 151 people who had close contact with the man have been put in quarantine and are under medical observation. None of them has reported syndromes of the disease so far, according to the local government.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission has sent disease prevention and control specialists to Yumen to prevent the plague from spreading.
Plague is categorized as a Class A infectious disease, the most serious under China’s Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.
Chinese city sealed off after bubonic plague death
- theguardian.com, Tuesday 22 July 2014 12.59 BST
A Chinese city has been sealed off and 151 people have been placed in quarantine since last week after a man died of bubonic plague, state media said.
The 30,000 residents of Yumen, in the north-western province of Gansu, are not being allowed to leave, and police at roadblocks on the perimeter of the city are telling motorists to find alternative routes, China Central Television (CCTV) said.
A 38-year-old man died last Wednesday, the report said, after he had been in contact with a dead marmot, a small furry animal related to the squirrel. No further plague cases have been reported.
CCTV said officials were not allowing anyone to leave. The China Daily newspaper said four quarantine sectors had been set up in the city.
“The city has enough rice, flour and oil to supply all its residents for up to one month,” CCTV added. “Local residents and those in quarantine are all in stable condition.” No further cases have been reported.
Bubonic plague is a bacterial infection best known for the Black Death, a virulent epidemic that killed tens of millions of people in 14th-century Europe. Primarily an animal illness, it is extremely rare in humans.
The US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) says modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague, but that without prompt treatment the disease can cause serious illness or death.
The term bubonic plague is derived from the Greek word βουβών, meaning “groin”. Swollen lymph nodes (buboes) especially occur in the armpit and groin in persons suffering from bubonic plague. Bubonic plague was often used synonymously for plague, but it does in fact refer specifically to an infection that enters through the skin and travels through the lymphatics, as is often seen in flea-borne infections.
Bubonic plague—along with the septicemic plague and the pneumonic plague, which are the two other manifestations of Y. pestis—is commonly believed to be the cause of the Black Death that swept through Europe in the 14th century and killed an estimated 25 million people, or 30–60% of the European population. Around the Mediterranean Region, summers seemed to be the season when the disease took place. While in Europe, people found the disease most occurring in the autumn. Because the plague killed so many of the working population, wages rose and some historians have seen this as a turning point in European economic development.
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