Bubonic plague: Teenage boy dies from 'Black Death' disease

·1-min read
The bubonic plague can be treated with antibiotics but there is no vaccine for the disease

A 15 year-old boy has died of bubonic plague in Mongolia, according to the country's health ministry.

The National Centre for Zoonotic Diseases (NCZD) said the teenager from the western province of Govi-Altai had died from eating marmot meat.

A quarantine has now been put in place on five districts in the province, which shares a border with China.

"The result of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test revealed on Monday night that bubonic plague caused the death of a 15-year-old boy," Dorj Narangerel, a spokesperson for the health ministry, told a press conference.

The death follows the news earlier this month of two people testing positive for the disease in the neighbouring province of Khovd.

The NCZD is currently organising a nationwide immunisation programme to stop the spread of the disease.

Last year, a lockdown was imposed in the Mongolian province of Bayan-Olgii after reports that a couple had died from the bubonic plague after reportedly eating raw marmot meat.

Russia has increased patrols in an attempt to stop people hunting marmots near its border with Mongolia.

China issued a warning last week after a suspected case of bubonic plague was discovered in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia.

There is no vaccine for the bacterial disease. It is transmitted between animals through their fleas, and humans can be infected by flea bites or from touching infected animals.

Symptoms of the disease, known as the Black Death in the Middle Ages, include a fever, swollen lymph nodes and feeling weak.

Advice from the World Health Organisation says an adult can be killed in less than 24 hours if they are not treated with several types of antibiotics.

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