Bubonic Plague Deaths in China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mongolia

Bubonic Plague Deaths in China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mongolia

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The bubonic plague conjures images in the head of vast deaths from distant centuries. However, while no longer the potent killer disease of the past, people are still becoming infected and dying each year. In recent months, several people have died in China, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Mongolia.

In Northern China, Inner Mongolia, two people have died in the same region. Hence, another village is now under lockdown and sealed off from outside. The latest death from multiple organ failure occurred on Friday. Therefore, authorities are hoping to contain the latest outbreak.

Voice of America reports, “According to China’s National Health Commission, there were five cases in 2019, with one death. Worldwide, there are 1,000 to 2,000 cases each year that are reported to the WHO.”

In the DRC, a nation blighted by Ebola, malaria, measles, and other ills, 14 people are known to have died this year from the plague. The mortality rate is 21.8 percent from 64 known cases this year. This highlights how deadly the plague is if not treated. Also, with millions displaced from war, the country is under enormous strain.

The World Health Organization reports, “Since the beginning of 2020, Ituri Province has reported a total of 64 plague cases and 14 deaths (CFR:21.8%) in five health zones, namely Aungba, Linga, Rethy, Aru and Kambala health zones. This compares against 10 cases and 5 deaths (lethality 50.0%) during the same period in 2019, all in a single zone.”

The Russian Federation is concerned about plague infections in China and Mongolia based on sharing the same geographic space. Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia, uttered, “We must think how to react to this sort of threat.”

In Mongolia, two male teenagers caught the plague in the middle of July. One teenager died before reaching the hospital. However, concerns persist that more cases may occur in Mongolia and Inner Mongolia (China) if serious measures aren’t taken.


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