State media in China has revealed that the town of Yumen has been sealed off and residents prohibited from leaving for a nine day period after a man died of bubonic plague on July 16th. Roadblocks have been installed and people are being told to find alternative routes around the town. The victim is thought to be a 38-year-old man who died after contact with a dead marmot. He was reportedly feeding the dead Marmot to his dog when he contracted the infection. He began to develop symptoms the same day which quickly worsened after he was taken to the People's Hospital in Yumen. It is likely that the disease was carried in the fleas on the animal and is primarily an animal illness, more rarely seen in humans.
China Central Television (CCTV) stated that 'the city has enough rice, flour and oil to supply all its residents for up to one month' and 'local residents and those in quarantine are all in stable condition.' Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated the antibiotics required to treat bubonic plague are very effective, however victims of the infection are to be treated immediately or possibly suffer fatal consequences within 24 hours.
Outbreaks have been rare in more recent years in China and are usually confined to rural areas. The last recorded death was in 2012 in Sichuan. According to the World Health Organisation 'during the last half century, there has been a shift in the main focus of plague, from Asia to the Americas to Africa.'
No one in the city is thought to have contracted the infection. The 151 people in quarantine have possibly come into contact with the victim and are currently under observation. According to the South China Morning Post$160,000 have been set aside for vaccinations in Yumen. News agency Xinhua reported that the bubonic plague is a 'Class A infectious disease.' It is estimated that bubonic plague caused 25 million deaths during the outbreak in the Middle Ages in Europe, however cases are now rarely recorded and are quickly controlled. #Animals #Medicine.