One of the deadliest plagues of all times that wiped out as many as 200 million people from the face of the earth is back to haunt the disturbed minds of humans, who are already fighting the mystery of COVID-19 pandemic. In Mongolia, a 15-year-old is believed to be dead after contracting the deadly plague from the 1300s. The teen had consumed marmot meat, developed a high fever and died within three days.
The National Center for Zoonotic Diseases (NCZD) in Mongolia, said the boy is suspected to have died from an infection of bubonic plague in the Mongolian province of Govi-Alta. The authorities have placed dozens of people who might have come in contact with the teen in isolation to avoid the spread of the disease. Furthermore, five districts have imposed lockdown to contain the virus.
"This is the second plague in our country. Cases of marmot plague have also been reported in Inner Mongolia, China. In this regard, Russia began to take measures to ban marmot hunting. While our neighbors are paying close attention, our citizens are being warned not to hunt and eat marmots illegally and to follow their advice," D. Narangeral, head of the ministry of health in Mongolia, was quoted as saying.
What is Black Death or Bubonic Plague?
The Black Death or Bubonic Plague existed in the sixth century AD. Its fatality rate in the 14th century was worse than the Y-pestis plague of the 20th century, which killed a 3 percent population of India, the world's second-largest populated country. The bacteria is so deadly that it can kill an infected person in less than 24 hours if left untreated. It is transmitted by fleas living on wild rodents like marmots. However, those who are treated in time can often make a full recovery.
Its symptoms seizures, muscle cramps and gangrene of the toes, fingertips, tip of the nose and the lips.
Other cases and WHO's response
The suspected Black Death of the 15-year-old isn't the first as two infections of bubonic plague were recently reported in the province of Khovd. A 27-year-old man and his 17-year-old brother died of the bacterial infection. In April 2019, the bubonic plague had killed a couple in the Western Mongolian province after they consumed raw marmot meat.
The World Health Organisation said it is "carefully monitoring" the spread of bubonic plague and said it wasn't a high risk as COVID-19. "Bubonic plague has been with us and is always with us, for centuries. We are looking at the case numbers in China. It's being well managed. At the moment, we are not considering its high risk but we're watching it, monitoring it carefully," WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said.