Boy (15) in Mongolia dies of bubonic plague after eating marmot

Two other teenagers who ate meat from same infected animal being treated with antibiotics

A marmot: hunting marmots believed to have caused disease. Photograph: Jean Christophe Verhaegen/AFP

A marmot: hunting marmots believed to have caused disease. Photograph: Jean Christophe Verhaegen/AFP

 

A 15-year-old boy has died in western Mongolia of bubonic plague after eating an infected marmot, the country’s health ministry has announced.

Two other teenagers who also ate the marmot are being treated with antibiotics, ministry spokesperson Narangerel Dorj said.

A quarantine has been imposed on a portion of Gobi-Altai province, where the cases occurred. The health ministry said 15 people who had contact with the boy who died had been quarantined and were receiving antibiotics.

Plague is found in marmots, large rodents that live in burrows in parts of Mongolia, north-western China and eastern Russia. The Mongolian government warned the public not to hunt or eat marmots.

In an unrelated case, a patient who was infected with plague in China’s northern region of Inner Mongolia is improving, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

It said 15 people who had close contact with the patient were released from quarantine on Sunday.

The agency said the government had ended its top-level emergency response.

An official announcement earlier said a warning for the public in the Bayannur region of Inner Mongolia to avoid eating marmots and to report dead animals wouldlast through the end of 2020. – AP