Don’t panic, but the bubonic plague is back

Sarah Hofmann Contributor
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A 15-year-old boy from a mountain village in Kyrgyzstan has died from bubonic plague and three more have been hospitalized in the Central Asian country.

Temirbek Isakunov is believed to have contracted the fatal disease from eating barbecued marmot.

This is the first reported case of bubonic plague in 30 years, reports the Mirror. A total of 131, including medical personnel, have been quarantined, although no one other than the three hospitalized have shown any symptoms of the disease, according to the Guardian.

This presents a risk to Russia, who do not require a visa to travel between to or from Kyrgyzstan. Another risk factor is the fact that about half a million Kyrgyz people work in Russia full-time.

Marmots are large ground squirrels that inhabit mountainous regions on many continents, ranging from the Eurasian Steppes to the Sierra Nevada in the United States. Their meat is traditionally eaten among Mongolians and other nomadic people in Central Asia.

Bubonic plague is usually characterized by a high fever and swelling around the armpits and groin.

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Sarah Hofmann