Bubonic plague strikes a couple in Mongolia after eating rodent meat
The country was in a six-day quarantine after the couple passed away after consuming raw rodent kidneys.
BAYAN-ULGII, MONGOLIA — A couple in Mongolia contracted the deadly plague after consuming some raw rodent meat, The Guardian reports.
The bubonic plague is usually spread from animals to humans by fleas, BBC News reports.
The couple had apparently eaten raw marmot meat and were thought to have developed the pneumonic plague from that.
According to NPR, the plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis which lives in infected animals, such as rodents.
Mongolian authorities have warned residents against consuming raw marmot meat because it carries this bacterium, The Guardian reports.
The plague causes bleeding and infected sores on a person. If left untreated, it can kill a person in a number of days.
The disease can turn septicemic or pneumonic once the bacteria has spread to the lungs. The pneumonic plague can spread from person to person via droplets in the air.
Symptoms of bubonic plague include fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting and joint pain, while symptoms of pneumonic plague include fever, headaches, cough, chest pain and muscle weakness.
If diagnosed early, the disease can be treated with antibiotics such as streptomycin and tetracycline, according to the World Health Organization.
The Mongolian government declared a quarantine for six days in the region starting on May 1 to prevent the spread of the deadly plague, BBC News reports.
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