Amid the world’s battle to stop the coronavirus, two teenagers in Mongolia caught the bubonic plague and claimed one life.
The casualty, which was identified as a 15-year-old boy from Western Mongolia, had died of bubonic plague after contracting the rare disease, as per the country’s health ministry. Two other teens caught the same disease as well but are alive and currently being treated.
Teen contracted “black death” disease after eating marmot
According to Mongolia’s health ministry spokesperson Narangerel Dorj, the 15-year-old boy and the two others contracted the virus after hunting and eating a marmot. The ministry had immediately quarantined a total of 15 people in Gobi-Altai province who met and interacted with the teenager.
“Those 15 people are receiving antibiotic treatment,” Dorj said, as quoted by U.K. Yahoo. Another five districts in the said province were put into a six-day quarantine as well.
The case, however, is not a first in Mongolia. Per the media outlet, the bubonic plague claims at least one person every year in the country due to hunting and eating a marmot. In fact, a province in Mongolia called Khovd has recorded two cases of the disease just recently.
In China’s Inner Mongolia region, a herdsman had also tested positive of bubonic plague weeks ago. But based on Xinhua News Agency’s updated report, the man is now improving after receiving treatment.
The case has also prompted the government of Mongolia to warn its people of hunting and eating marmots. As per Associated Press, the region of Bayannur in Inner Mongolia is told to avoid eating marmots as well as to report dead animals.
Colorado squirrel tests positive of bubonic plague
In other news, a squirrel from Colorado has recently tested positive for bubonic plague. The animal was reportedly found in a town outside of Denver in Jefferson County.
In a statement, the county’s health official said that the squirrel is the first case recorded in the county. The official also warned its people—including household pets—to avoid sick or dead wild animals.
The Jefferson County Public Health officials said that household pets like cats are highly susceptible to the plague too.
“Cats are highly susceptible to plague and may die if not treated promptly with antibiotics. Cats can contract plague from flea bites, a rodent scratch/bite, or ingestion of a rodent. Dogs are not as susceptible to plague; however, they may pick up and carry plague-infected rodent fleas,” the health officials said in a statement.
The bubonic plague is typically found in marmots and huge rodents living in Northasian grassland. In some parts of Mongolia, eastern Russia, and northwestern China, other wild animals are possible carriers too.