Mongolia’s Khovd province quarantined over bubonic plague scare

By bne IntelliNews July 5, 2020

Western Mongolian has quarantined part of its western border with China over a bubonic plague scare. Two residents from Khovd province were confirmed to be infected with the plague after eating marmot. 

Every year Mongolia reports a bubonic plague scare, always stemming from the consumption of marmots. Even though hunting of marmot is banned in the country, many locals still eat marmot as it is believed to have healing and vitalising properties.

A 27-year-old man and his 16-year-old younger brother are being treated at the regional medical centre, officials said on July 1. On July 4, medical staff reported both of the patients were in critical condition but were showing signs of stabilising.

Currently, first and second contacts of the two individuals are showing no symptoms of the disease. 141 first contact individuals have been quarantined in medical facilities, and the testing of close contacts is ongoing, as reported by the National Center for Zoonotic Disease (NCZD).

All travels to Khovd province have been restricted indefinitely due to confirmed cases of the plague, but if no cases arise during 14 days the restriction will likely be lifted.

Last year in May two Mongolian couples died from consuming marmot meat near the westernmost part of Mongolia bordering Russia and China, forcing dozens of tourists into quarantine for two weeks.

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