CHINA has declared a PLAGUE emergency after a three-year-old boy was struck down by the Black Death.
The child, from a remote village in Menghai county, Yunnan, in the south west of the country, was confirmed to be infected by the killer disease yesterday, state media reports.
China has declared a plague emergency after a boy, 3, tested positive for the disease. A train station in Yunnan being disinfectedCredit: Reuters.
Chinese authorities in the region have started a level IV emergency response to prevent another epidemic following the Covid-19 outbreak, reported Global Times.
This follows the discovery of three dead disease-ridden rats in a village in Menghai which sparked a national screening programme.
Bubonic plague is a bacterial disease spread by fleas living on wild rodents and can kill an adult in less than 24 hours if not treated in time.
Also known as the ‘Black Death’, the illness killed up to 200 million people in the 14 century.
Authorities said a severe rat infection has broken out in Yunnan earlier this month.
This comes after a plague outbreak in neighbouring Mongolia which has seen 22 reported cases – six of which have been confirmed.
The latest is a 25-year-old woman who has been hospitalised with the disease after eating an infected rodent called a marmot.
She is held in isolation in Khovd province along with 19 people she contacted.
Another unrelated case in Mongolia’s Khentii province is also being checked, say reports.
Hunting marmots is illegal in Mongolia, but many regard the rodent as a delicacy and ignore the law.
Three of the six confirmed cases have died in Mongolia – most recently a 38-year-old man in Khovsgol province earlier this month.
Seventeen out of all the 21 Mongolian provinces are now at risk of the bubonic plague, the NCZD warned.