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China identifies a case of the bubonic plague. Here’s why you shouldn’t panic

China identified one case and is inspecting another

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In this Wednesday, March 26, 2014 photo, some of the skeletons found by construction workers under central London’s Charterhouse Square are pictured.

In this Wednesday, March 26, 2014, photo, some of the skeletons found by construction workers under central London’s Charterhouse Square are pictured.

Associated Press

China has identified at least one case of the bubonic plague in the Inner Mongolia region of the country, with suspicion of a second case in the country, too.

What’s going on?

  • A patient in Bayannur has been sent into quarantine. He remains in stable condition, according to BBC News.
  • A hospital worker told local authorities about the case, according to state-run Xinhua news agency. Soon, the city went into a level 3 alert for plague prevention, which is the second lowest of four tiers, according to Xinhuanet.
  • The city will hold the alert for the reason of the year.
  • One local health authority told China Daily: “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, and report abnormal health conditions promptly.”

Some context:

  • The bubonic plague was responsible for one of the biggest epidemics in human history, killing about 50 million people in Africa, Asia and Europe back in the 14th century.
  • That said, the bubonic plague “can now be easily treated,” according to BBC News.
  • CNN said: “The advent of antibiotics, which can treat most infections if they are caught early enough, has helped to contain plague outbreaks, preventing the type of rapid spread witnesses in Europe in the Middle Ages.”
  • However, the plague hasn’t been eliminated completely. It has been tapped as a re-emerging disease with about 1,000 to 2,000 people getting infected every year.