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Village Quarantined After Plague Death In China

Village Quarantined After Plague Death In China

Chinese officials rushed to seal off a Chinese village after a herdsman died of the world's most deadly disease, the plague, after moving a dead marmot off grassland where his animals were feeding.

Pneumonic plague is one of the most deadly infectious diseases, according to World Health Organisation (WHO). Patients can die 24 hours after infection and it comes in three forms, one affects the respiratory system, one affects the lymphatic system (bubonic plague) and another that affects the circulatory system (septicaemic plague).

The 38-year-old man died from pneumonic plague which affected his lungs and he was dead within a day of being infected. He had been taken to the local hospital in north-western China's Gansu province, and as soon as medics confirmed what the man's condition was, everybody that had come into contact with him including his family and friends and the people in his village were quarantined.

A Chinese rapid response outbreak group were quickly on the scene wearing space age looking protective gear to supervise the quarantining of those in contact with the man, and said that so far no one had showed any signs that they had also been infected.

The city of Yumen, where the patient was being treated, and the man’s home village and town along with the pasture where he worked were all checked and suspected people quarantined. The man's body had been cremated after samples were taken for testing.

Health official Peng Ko said: "We are confident that on this occasion there will be no new infections and there is not any more risk. The man had been admitted to hospital and had instantly been quarantined because of his conditions and the way his symptoms were rapidly getting worse. The man had been coughing up blood and had a high fever."

In August 2009, China reported an outbreak of pneumonic plague in western Qinghai province after a herdsman died of high fever and had also been coughing up of blood from his lungs. According to WHO records on this occasion the cause of the infection was also a wild marmot.

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