Health authorities in Mongolia are reporting two deaths in Ulgii district in westernmost Mongolia. Preliminary test results show that bubonic plague is the likely caused the deaths of the husband and wife, according to the Siberian Times.
It is reported that the couple contracted the deadly infection after consuming infected marmot.
The deaths prompted a quarantine of passengers onboard the same flight from Bayan, Uglii and Khovd. A total of 158 people who came directly or indirectly into contact with the couple are ‘under supervision’.
Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. It is found in animals throughout the world, most commonly rats but other rodents like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, rabbits and voles. Fleas typically serve as the vector of plague. Human cases have been linked to the domestic cats and dogs that brought infected fleas into the house.
People can also get infected through direct contact with an infected animal, through inhalation and in the case of pneumonic plague, person to person.
Yersinia pestis is treatable with antibiotics if started early enough.
There are three forms of human plague; bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.
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