Man, 38, dies from plague in Mongolia as squirrels spread deadly disease

A man has died from the bubonic plague after eating an infected squirrel, officials say.

The man, who has become the third fatality since July, became seriously ill with a high fever in Mongolia’s Khovsgol province after devouring a marmot – a large ground squirrel.

He died of respiratory and cardiovascular problems while on a respirator.

Some 25 people who he was in contact with in Tosontsengel district were tested for the deadly disease, although no further infections have been located.

It has been three months since the country recorded its first case. 



Mongolia has suffered two previous deaths this summer, a 15-year-old boy in Govi-Altai province in July, and a 42-year-old man in Khovd province in August.

A total of 17 of Mongolia’s 21 provinces are now at risk from bubonic plague, says the country’s National Centre for Communicable Diseases.

There have been 18 suspected cases this year leading to three deaths.

Two deaths were also reported in China.





Russia has taken major steps to stop a spread of the Black Death across its frontiers with Mongolia and China.

Tens of thousands of people have been vaccinated in border areas in the Tuva and Altai republics of Siberia.

One outbreak was recorded on the Ukok plateau of the Altai Mountains in Russia – for the first time in more than 60 years.

Two other Russian regions are taking action against the killer disease – TransBaikal and Buryatia.





Rospotrebnadzor, Russia’s health watchdog, warned tourists visiting the area.

“Infection of people is possible, first of all, when cutting marmots after poaching, or through the bites of infected fleas and ticks that remain in the holes of rodents after their death from the plague,” said the organisation.

Bubonic plague is a bacterial disease spread by fleas living on wild rodents like marmots.

It kills in less than 24 hours if not treated promptly.

Up to 200 million people were killed by the Black Death – bubonic plague – in the 14th century.

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