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Chinese City Quarantined after Man died of Bubonic Plague

Update Date: Jul 23, 2014 10:35 AM EDT

Chinese health officials reported that they have quarantined parts of Yumen, a northwestern city in the province of Gansu, China. The city had to be sealed off after a 38-year-old resident died last week due to the Bubonic plague.

The officials reported that the victim was infected by a wild rodent called a marmot, which is related to a squirrel. The man had supposedly found the dead marmot and chopped it up to feed his dog. However, he developed a fever and had to be taken to the hospital. After he died on July 16, the town was cut off from other parts of China and 151 people, who were believed to have come into contact with the victim, were quarantined.

"The city has enough rice, flour and oil to supply all its residents for up to one month," The China Central Television (CCTV) had said reported by Channel News Asia. "Local residents and those in quarantine are all in stable condition."

So far, no one has shown any signs of an infection. A local newspaper, the Jiuquan Daily, reported that the city has set aside one million Yuan, which is $161,200, for emergency vaccinations, according to Reuters.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added, "Human plague infections continue to occur in the western United States, but significantly more cases occur in parts of Africa and Asia."

The Bubonic plague is a rare bacterial disease that can be spread through the fleas of while rodents. It is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria, which can be found in many regions throughout the world. Symptoms of an infection include sudden onset fever, headache, chills, weakness and one or more tender, swollen and painful lymph nodes known as buboes. The infection can be treated effectively with antibiotics.

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