Mongolian authorities have introduced a quarantine in two districts of Khovd region, in the west of the country, following reports about bubonic plague.
The National Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Center stated that a 27-year-old resident of Tsetseg district in the Khovd region was hospitalised last Sunday after eating marmot meat.
Lab tests confirmed that two unidentified individuals had contracted the “marmot plague” in the region of Khovd, Mongolia’s National Center for Zoonotic Disease (NCZD) said in a statement. The NCZD said it moved to quarantine the provincial capital and one of the region’s districts about 500 kilometers south of the southern Siberian republics of Tyva and Altai. Vehicles are temporarily banned from entering the region, the state-run TASS news agency cited Mongolian media as saying.
The young woman, who is now in critical condition, had directly contacted more than 60 people and over 400 indirectly, according to reports.
Just a little over a year ago, a couple died in the neighbouring Bayan Olgiy region after eating raw marmot meat.
Experts say the direct descendants of the same bubonic plague that killed 50 million people in the 14th century still exist today, killing around 2,000 people a year.