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pestilence the sequel:WHO says it is 'carefully monitoring' bubonic plague outbreak in China but says the situation is 'being well mana

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07/07/2020 12:14 PM

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pestilence the sequel:WHO says it is 'carefully monitoring' bubonic plague outbreak in China but says the situation is 'being well mana
The WHO said it did not consider the situation in northern China 'high-risk'
A spokesperson on Tuesday praised Beijing for managing the outbreak 'well'
A herdsman in Inner Mongolia was diagnosed with bubonic plague on Sunday
Bubonic plague is known as the 'Black Death' that killed millions in 14th century
The agency also publicly lauded China's handling of coronavirus throughout Jan.
But the virus later led to a pandemic and has so far killed over 538,000 globally

Bubonic plague is one of the most devastating diseases in history, having killed around 100million people in the 14th century.

Chinese officials 'found plague-carrying dead rats in mid-June'
Authorities in northern China's Inner Mongolia have claimed that they found four dead rats carrying plague on June 18 - more than two weeks before a herdsman in the area was diagnosed with bubonic plague.

Officials said on Tuesday that the responsible bacterium, Yersinia pestis, had been detected in three epidemic spots in Urad Middle Banner, where the patient had been residing and herding before falling ill, amid fears of a plague outbreak.

The four dead rodents were discovered in one of the epidemic spots, Wengeng Town, and were believed to have died on their own, according to Fu Ruifeng, the deputy director of the Inner Mongolian Health Commission.

Mr Fu said at a press conference today that the patient, who remains unnamed, had not come into contact with other plague or fever patients in the 10 days leading up to their diagnosis. Nor had he peeled or eaten any wild animals, or touching dead animals or rats, the official said.

Authorities have quarantined 15 people who had come into close contact with the individual and the epidemic spots, covering a total of 3.6 square kilometres (1.9 square miles), were being disinfected, according to a government statement regarding the press briefing.

The news comes after the WHO also publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus throughout January.

The agency repeatedly thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus 'immediately,' and said its work and commitment to transparency were 'very impressive, and beyond words'.

But in March, the WHO declared a pandemic caused by the coronavirus after it had spread to dozens of countries. The disease has so far killed more than 538,000 people worldwide.

The government of Bayan Nur, the Chinese city that reported the bubonic plague case, on Sunday issued an early epidemic warning after identifying the herdsman as a suspected patient. The city is also known as Bayannur.

The individual was confirmed to have the disease on the same day, sparking fears of a new disease outbreak amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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