Tue, August 04, 2009
Lifestyle > Health > Pneumonic plague outbreak

China town sealed off after pneumonic plague kills 1

2009-08-04 09:03:18 GMT2009-08-04 17:03:18 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

BEIJING – A town in a Tibetan area in northwest China has been sealed off after one of its residents died from pneumonic plague, the local government said on Sunday.

Ziketan town in Qinghai province was put under collective quarantine Saturday when laboratory tests showed it had been struck by the highly virulent disease, the Qinghai health bureau said in a statement.

A 32-year-old herdsman had died from the plague, while 11 others had been diagnosed with it, according to the statement.

Ziketan, which is located in the Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, had enough supplies to get by on its own for the time being, it added, giving no indication of when the quarantine would be lifted.

The health bureau urged people who had visited Ziketan on or after July 16 to seek immediate help if they developed coughing or fever.

An official at the Ziketan health bureau contacted by AFP Sunday declined to give further details.

Pneumonic plague spreads through the air, making it easier to contract than for example bubonic plague, which requires that a person is bitten by an infected flea.

It is also more lethal, with a fatality rate of up to 100 percent if left untreated, compared with 60 percent for bubonic plague.

(Agencies)

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