Plague – China

A suspected case of bubonic plague has been reported in western Mongolia. 

A 27-year-old resident of Tsetseg soum in Hovd province was taken to a hospital on Sunday Jun 28 after eating marmot meat. The man is in critical condition.

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. It is found in animals throughout the world, most commonly rats. Other rodents like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, rabbits, and voles can also carry the disease. Fleas typically serve as the vector of plague. People can also get infected through direct contact with an infected animal, through inhalation. Pneumonic plague can be spread from person to person.

The disease is treatable with antimicrobials if started early enough.

Photo: Yersina pestis bacteria in the gut of a flea.

The Plague has a long history. The first known occurrence was the Plague of Justinian in the sixth century. Well known is the Black Death, which accounted for the death of at least one-third of the European population between 1347 and 1353. The Third Pandemic, sometimes referred to as the Modern Plague, began in the late 19th century in China and was spread by rats on steamships. It claimed close to 10 million lives, due to use of antibiotics not being well understood. Penicillin, the first true antibiotic, was discovered in 1928.

Follow us

While you are here, help us with

Access to Essential Drugs

One third of children, women and men have no access to essential medicines, putting lives at risk. Hospitals frequently run out of medicines and other essential supplies. Our Med-Aid program connects hospitals with aid and ensures that they receive exactly what they need.

Access to Diagnostics

Much of today’s innovation is either not reaching or not suitable for people in developing countries.

Data to Improve Health

Faster and reactive systems to help provide lifesaving support to vulnerable communities.

Support our work. It only takes a minute but makes a world of difference!

With your help we can bring modern diagnostics and essential medicines to people in need, track disease outbreaks better and help prevent future pandemics.