TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After a third person was diagnosed with the plague in China in less than a week, Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is warning travelers to beware of the deadly disease when visiting the communist country.
On Sunday (Nov. 17), China's Inner Mongolia confirmed a case of bubonic plague less than a week after two others had contracted the pneumonic form of the disease. The 55-year-old man received the diagnosis after he had eaten a wild rabbit on Nov. 5, reported Science Alert.
The Chaoyang District People's Government of Beijing City on Nov. 12 announced that two residents of Sonid Left Banner, Xilingol League in Inner Mongolia had been diagnosed with pneumonic plague. They are currently receiving "proper treatment" in Beijing's Chaoyang District, where infection prevention and control measures have been put in place, reported the Chinese government mouthpiece Xinhua.
In response to the three cases of plague, Taiwan's CDC said it would closely monitor the situation, but detailed information about the patients has been blocked by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) censors. The CDC said that if the risk of community-acquired infection increases, the agency will issue a travel warning.
It called on the public not to visit the epidemic area and to avoid contact with rodents, which are carriers of the disease, reported Liberty Times. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health and Welfare explained that the plague is a zoonotic infectious disease transmitted by fleas to rodents before spreading to other animals and humans.
Among the early symptoms is inflammation of the lymph glands near the site of the flea bite, at which point it is referred to as bubonic plague. Subsequently, it may develop into septicemic plague, which infects all parts of the body through blood.
The pneumonic plague may cause a human-to-human epidemic through coughing and sneezing droplets containing bacteria in the air. Without treatment, the mortality rate of the disease can reach 30-60 percent.
However, if detected early, the mortality rate can be significantly lowered through the use of antibiotics.