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CHINA’S YUNNAN PROVINCE GETS SUSPECTED CASE OF BUBONIC PLAGUE

CHINA’S YUNNAN PROVINCE GETS SUSPECTED CASE OF BUBONIC PLAGUE

Context

Recently, a level-IV emergency response has been launched to prevent the spread of plague in Menghai county of Southwest China's Yunnan.

About Plague

  • It is an infectious disease caused by Yersinia pestis bacteria.
  • It is usually found in small mammals and their fleas.
  • The disease is transmitted between animals via their fleas and, as it is a zoonotic bacteria, it can also transmit from animals to humans.
  • Humans can be contaminated by the bite of infected fleas, through direct contact with infected materials, or by inhalation.
  • It is found on all continents except Oceania but since the 1990s, most human cases have occurred in Africa. Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Peru are the three most endemic countries.

There are 3 main forms of plague.

  • Bubonic plague is the most common and is caused by the bite of an infected flea.
  • Septicaemic plague occurs when infection spreads through the bloodstream. It may result from flea bites or from direct contact with infective materials through cracks in the skin.
  • Pneumonic plague – or lung-based plague is caused by spread to the lungs from advanced bubonic plague.

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