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SUSPECTED CASE OF BUBONIC PLAGUE FOUND: INNER MONGOLIA

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

China’s health authorities are on high alert after a suspected case of the infectious bubonic plague was reported from Inner Mongolia.

Local authorities in Bayannur issued a third-level warning for plague prevention and control that will last till the end of 2020.

Plagues

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis.

There are three types of plagues:

  1. septicemic, which spreads in the blood;
  2. bubonic, which affects the lymph nodes; and
  3. pneumonic, which affects the lungs.

Bubonic and septicemic plague are generally spread by flea bites or handling an infected animal.

The pneumonic form is generally spread between people through the air via infectious droplets.

Bubonic plague

  • Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague, and one to seven days after exposure to the bacteria, flu-like symptoms develop.
  • Swollen and painful lymph nodes occur in the area closest to where the bacteria entered the skin.
  • In the bubonic form of plague, the bacteria enter through the skin through a flea bite and travel via the lymphatic vessels to a lymph node, causing it to swell.
  • Vaccines have not been found to be very useful for plague prevention.
  • Prevention is through public health measures such as not handling dead animals in areas where plague is common.
  • The plague was the cause of the Black Death that swept through Asia, Europe, and Africa in the 14th century and killed an estimated 50 million people.

-Source: Hindustan Times

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