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Bubonic Plague Causes Chinese City

Taking precautionary measures to a whole new level, an entire Chinese town of over thirty thousand people was quarantined off from the rest of the country after a man from a nearby village died of bubonic plague. Although four people were also diagnosed with the very same disease in Colorado, during the same week, those were treated quickly and effectively in hospital and released, whereas Yumen’s authorities opted for a far more dramatic response.

According to China Central Television, or CCTV, the thirty-eight year old farmer died of the disease after coming into contact with a dead marmot (a large, ground-based squirrel that is typically found within mountainous areas). Although nobody within the city is believed to have contracted the disease at this point, 151 individuals who might have come into contact with the man have been placed under direct observation, just in case.

Plague

The plague, otherwise known to many as ‘The black death’ is by far one of the oldest and most identifiable diseases known to mankind, after it left its infamous mark on our history books. For those who don’t know, the disease is caused by contracting a bacterium known as Yersinia Pestis, which is capable of infecting various pests and animals such as prairie dogs, squirrels, and rats. This lethal bacterium can be transmitted to humans in one of the following ways:

  • Contact with infected droplets or fluids coughed up by someone infected with the disease
  • Flea bites from an animal with Y Pestis

Although many people remember one particular plague event most commonly, there have actually been three pandemics recorded in history, the first of which began in 541 AD and continued for approximately two hundred years, killing over one hundred million people in total. The most famous plague pandemic, The Black Death, occurred in the fourteenth century and wiped out around 60% of Europe’s population, and the last pandemic in 1860 took place in China, killing around 10,000,000 people.

Although plague continues to be endemic throughout various areas in the world, and is most commonly found in Madagascar and Sub-Saharan Africa, it has also been known to occur in the United States. Between the years of 1900, and 2010, a total of 999 cases have been confirmed and recorded within America. Although it is still incredibly serious, and highly contagious if not treat with expert medical care, antibiotics can now effectively treat the disease, making it a lot less scary than it once was.

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