The authorities of Inner Mongolia are on high alert after it emerged that there may be a case of bubonic plague in the region. According to Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua, the case was discovered in the city of Bayannur, located northwest of Beijing.
This is the same disease that caused the devastating Black Death pandemic, which is the most fatal pandemic recorded in human history. Approximately 200-million people died during the pandemic in the 14th century.
A Bayannur hospital alerted municipal authorities of the potential case on Saturday, July 4. There was a citywide Level 3 warning for plague prevention the very next day, which is the second-lowest in a four-level system. According to Xinhua, this warning will stay in place until the end of the year.
Bubonic plague can cause painful, swollen lymph nodes, as well as fever, chills, and coughing.
Bayannur health authorities are urging people to be cautious to minimise the risk of human-to-human transmission. Residents have also been advised not to hunt or eat animals that may cause the infection.
“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,” the local health authority said to China Daily.
In May 2019, a Mongolian couple died from bubonic plague after they ate the raw kidney of a marmot. The kidney of this animal is believed to be a traditional remedy for good health.