Just when you thought this year really couldn’t get any worse, a case of bubonic plague has been reported in Inner Mongolia.
The patient, a herdsman living outside the city of Bayannur, was confirmed to be sick with the disease that evokes images body piles in the Middle Ages on Saturday. He is reported to be in stable condition at a local hospital.
It’s not yet totally clear how the herdsman caught the plague but local officials aren’t taking any chances, going on alert and instructing residents to cease hunting and eating animals that could be carrying the plague. They also been told to report any sick or dead animals that they find.
Marmots are currently the main suspect. The alert will remain up until the end of the year.
While the bubonic plague has certainly given humanity trouble in the past, nowadays it can easily be treated with antibiotics and so isn’t thought of as a real threat to our species.
However, if left untreated, the disease is still extremely fatal, killing 30 to 60 percent of those who are infected.