Black Death outbreak in Mongolia as two brothers are infected with bubonic plague after eating marmot meat

TWO brothers in Mongolia have contracted deadly bubonic plague after eating marmot meat, it's reported.

Urgent checks have been carried out on 146 people with whom they were in contact.

But there are some 500 who these contacts have been in touch with, say reports. 

The bacterial infection can kill adults within 24 hours if not treated in time, according to the World Health Organisation. 

Pansoch Buyainbat, 27, and his brother, 17, are being treated in separate hospitals in Khovd province in western Mongolia.

The older brother is said to be in a “critical” condition.

Major security precautions have been put into operation amid fears of a spread.

The plague is spread by fleas living on wild rodents such as marmots.

The country’s National Centre for Zoonotic Diseases confirmed that bubonic plague had been diagnosed.

A couple died of bubonic plague in the western Mongolian province of Bayan-Ulgii in April 2019, after eating raw marmot meat.

Marmots are rodents and the heaviest member of the squirrel family. 

Up to 200 million people were killed by the Black Death – bubonic plague – in the 14th century. 

History of the Black Death

The Black Death was an epidemic of bubonic plague which struck Europe and Asia in the 1300s.

It killed more than 20 million people in Europe – almost one third of the continent's population between 1347-1352

Scientists now know that the plague was spread by a bacillus known as yersina pestis.

The bacteria can travel through the air as well as through the bites of infected fleas and rats.

Bubonic plague can cause swelling of the lymph notes. If untreated it could spread to the blood and lungs.

Other symptoms included fever, vomiting and chills.

Physicians relied on treatments such as boil-lancing to bathing in vinegar as they tried to treat people with the plague.

Some believed that the Black Death was a "divine punishment" – a form of retribution for sins against God.


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