State mediain China has revealed that the town of Yumen has been sealed off and residentsprohibited from leaving for a nine day period after a man died of bubonicplague on July 16th. Roadblocks have been installed and people are being toldto find alternative routes around the town. The victimis 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 theinfection. He began to develop symptoms the same day which quickly worsenedafter he was taken to the People's Hospital in Yumen.

It is likely that thedisease was carried in the fleas on the animal and is primarily an animalillness, more rarely seen in humans.

ChinaCentral Television (CCTV) stated that 'the city has enough rice, flour and oilto supply all its residents for up to one month' and 'local residents and thosein quarantine are all in stable condition.' Centres for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC) stated the antibiotics required to treat bubonic plague arevery effective, however victims of the infection are to be treated immediatelyor possibly suffer fatal consequences within 24 hours.

Outbreaks have been rarein more recent years in China and are usually confined to rural areas. The lastrecorded death was in 2012 in Sichuan. According to the World HealthOrganisation 'during the last half century, there has been a shift in the mainfocus of plague, from Asia to the Americas to Africa.'

No one inthe city is thought to have contracted the infection. The 151 people inquarantine have possibly come into contact with the victim and are currentlyunder observation. According to the South China Morning Post$160,000 have beenset aside for vaccinations in Yumen.

News agency Xinhua reported that thebubonic plague is a 'Class A infectious disease.' It isestimated that bubonic plague caused 25 million deaths during the outbreak inthe Middle Ages in Europe, however cases are now rarely recorded and arequickly controlled.

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