Chinese city sealed off after man dies from bubonic plague

July 23, 2014

Yersinia pestis bacteria (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Chinese city of Yumen in Gansu province in China was sealed off Tuesday for nine days (ending today) after a man died of bubonic plague,  South China Post reports, based on a report by China Central Television.

“Other reports said the 38-year-old victim had come across a dead marmot on July 13. He is said to have chopped it up to feed to his dog, but developed a fever the same day.

“He was then taken to People’s Hospital in Yumen after his condition worsened two days later. Gansu’s provincial centre for disease control confirmed on Thursday that the man had contracted pneumonic plague, according to Xinhua [news service].”

Bubonic plague is caused by the bacterium¬†Yersinia pestis, according to the CDC. “It is endemic in rural areas in central and southern Africa, central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, the northeastern part of South America, and parts of the southwestern United States.

“It is usually transmitted “through the bite of infected rodent fleas. Less common exposures include handling infected animal tissues (hunters, wildlife personnel), inhalation of infectious droplets from cats or dogs with plague, and rarely, contact with a pneumonic plague patient.”