Bubonic Plague is not a threat?

Bubonic plague in China....a bacterial disease...fleas that live on wild rodents, marmots......first suspected case .....Inner Mongolia autonomous region...

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What is Bubonic Plague?

Bubonic plague, which is one of the plague’s three forms, is a bacterial disease that spreads due to the fleas that live on wild rodents, in some cases found in china, marmots. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that the disease can kill an adult in less than 24 hours if not treated in time. It was considered as one of the most fearful disease in human history. But now it has treatments through antibodies available.

Reported Cases: Bubonic Plague in China

According to state-run Xinhua news agency, the first suspected case was brought in on Saturday. This took place in Bayannur city, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. The cause of how the infection got to the patient is still unknown.

Another suspected case of a 27-year-old resident and his 17-year-old brother were admitted to the hospital on Sunday in Khovd province, Mongolia. The preliminary tests diagnosis shows acquisition of bubonic plague after consumption of marmot meat.

Last year, a couple died of bubonic plague in the western Mongolian province of Bayan-Ulgii. They had eaten raw marmot meat.

Authority’s response to Bubonic Plague

Level three warning of plague prevention and control was announced in northern China on Sunday. This is the second lowest warning in a four-level system. The alert forbids hunting and eating of animals that could carry plague till the end of the year. Therefore, cooperation is requested from the public to report suspected cases.

The infected brothers came in contact with 146 people. Thus, according to Dorje Narangerel, the representative of the Ministry of health, they all have been put under isolation. They are getting the treatment in local hospitals.

According to the Firstpost, the local authority says, “At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city. The public should improve its self-protection awareness and ability, and report abnormal health conditions promptly.”

How can this be a pandemic level threat?

Bubonic plague is responsible for the deadliest epidemics in the records of the history. In the 14th century, the Black Death was caused by bubonic plague. It killed 50 million people across Africa, Asia and Europe. 

Some of the symptoms include-

  • High fever without a proper cause, 
  • Chills,
  • Nausea,
  • Weakness,
  • Swollen lymph nodes,
  • Coughing.

Untreated bubonic plague can turn into pneumonic plague. This might lead to rapid development of pneumonia because the bacteria spreads to the lungs. There is a lack of a proper vaccine for its treatment as of yet.

Why won’t this be a pandemic level threat?

  • Rarity in Cases

Bubonic cases are rare and have been around for a while. Cases of plague are common in China. From 2009 to 2018, there have been 26 reports of such cases with 11 deaths in total.

  • Treatment Available

Dr Shanti Kappagoda, an infectious diseases doctor at Stanford Health Care says, “Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics.”

  • Last year’s response

In 2019 a couple died due to bubonic plague. The experts had then pointed out that the plague is preventable and under control. Different measures were suggested and rodent extermination was carried out. Authorities had also introduced health education in Inner Mongolia. 

  • Quick discoveries and public response

Due to the current pandemic caused by COVID- 19, people have grown keen towards learning about recent tests and papers on viruses with pandemic causing potential. This has encouraged the scientific society to research more and provide data with facts. With the fast public response to such studies, people are getting serious towards following the necessary guidelines.

The case of new pandemic level problems

These new reports of arising viruses are proving to be a challenge for China. The country has received a second attack of the disease COVID- 19. From June 11th – July 4th, the cases reached were 334. Out of these 47 percent are the workers of the Xinfadi wholesale food market.

A new strain of Swine flu was in the news before the claims of bubonic plague being the next pandemic. A virus with pandemic potential. The state-run Global Times reports that the scientists from China Agricultural University, the Chinese centre for Disease Control and Prevention and other institutions had found another virus. The pig influenza virus bearing genotype 4. We can read it as the G4 virus. It is contagious among pigs and provides a hint of the possibility of jumping to humans. This is because the virus is able to bind with the human cells. 

BBC reported that the researchers express their concerns that if it mutates further it might spread from person to person with ease. Thus, creating a global outbreak. Chinese researchers warn in their paper that controlling this virus in pigs and frequent monitoring in human populations is very urgent. The worker in the swine industry need urgent attention.

Read- CHINA REOPENS WET MARKET THAT’S GOOD?

Although the paper put forward the possibility of the G4 virus turning into a pandemic in near future. It has not yet become potent in humans even as their blood contains antibodies for the virus. At this point, alerts can only act as early warnings. The researches will go alongside. This holds us responsible in being more aware. We must take necessary precautions and guidelines that are call for very strictly. This is important because we have no inbuilt immunity from these viruses qiute like the virus that causes Covid- 19. 

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