The vast ranges of Siberia that border Mongolia and China have been placed on high alert. Authorities have prohibited the eating and hunting of marmots. Marmots are known to spread the bacteria that causes the Bubonic plague.
In Mongolia and China, there have been three cases of bubonic plague.
The city of Bayan Nur in the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia issued a plague warning.
Russia’s consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has now said, “they are curbing illegal hunting on marmots and conducting an awareness campaign with breeders about the strict rules”.
The Bubonic plague if not treated within 24 hours by anti-biotics can be fatal.
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Bayannur health authorities are now urging people to take extra precautions to minimize the risk of human-to-human transmission, and to avoid hunting, skinning or eating animals that could cause infection.
In China Bayannur health authorities are taking measures to restrict human-to-human transmission.
Hunting, skinning, and eating animals is prohibited as it can cause infection.
The China Daily newspaper said: “At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city.
“The public should improve its self-protection awareness and ability.
“They need to report abnormal health conditions promptly.”
Marmots, although cuddly-looking, are now to be avoided.
This large rodent which can grow to the size of a small dag is believed to have caused a 1911 pneumonic plague epidemic in northeastern China.
This epidemic killed an estimated 63,000.
The Marmot is prized for its meat and its fur.
Its fur sold internationally to be made into garments.
However, if the fur is not treated then it can still carry the deadly fleas that transmit the Bubonic plague to humans.