Parts of Yumen, a city in northwestern China, have been sealed off after a local died of bubonic plague last week, reports Reuters. The 38-year-old man is said to have contracted the bacterial disease, also known as "the black death," after coming into contact with a type of rodent called a marmot.
enough rice, flour, and oil to supply all 30,000 residents for a month
Yumen has a population of 100,000 people, but the parts of the city that are now sealed are home to about 30,000. These residents have been told that they can’t leave the area, and police have set up roadblocks to prevent anyone from entering these zones. Moreover, 151 residents are under quarantine after coming into direct contact with the man who contracted the disease. City officials say that they have enough rice, flour, and oil to supply all 30,000 residents for up to a month, but reports haven’t yet mentioned how long this situation might last.
According to Reuters, bubonic plague outbreaks are rare in China, and when they do occur, most take place in rural areas. Since 2009, an estimated 12 people have been diagnosed with the disease, and four people have died. Modern antibiotics are effective in treating the plague, but doctors have to administer them quickly because death can occur 24 hours after the initial infection. At the moment, officials in Beijing say that the risk of a spread is minimal.