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Boy dies of bubonic plague in Kyrgyzstan, three more sick

The 15-year-old boy was most likely bitten by an infected flea after catching a marmot.

bubonic plague fleaEnlarge
A flea infected with the bubonic plague most likely bit the boy. (Wikimedia/Wikimedia commons)

A 15-year-old boy in Kyrgyzstan has died of the bubonic plague in the first confirmed case of the disease in 30 years.

Authorities said Tuesday another three people from the same village as the boy in northeastern Kyrgyzstan are being treated on suspicion of being infected with the deadly disease. 

"Residents of Sary-Kamysh ... came to the hospital at 12:30 am," the ministry said in a statement. "They are now under medical care."

The three new patients had contact with the teenager, who was mostly likely bitten by an infected flea after catching a marmot. 

He died on Aug. 23, but the incident was only reported Monday.

Authorities have quarantined more than 130 people who had contact with the boy, including 19 medical workers who treated him, and doctors are prescribing antibiotics in the area.

Health Minister Dinara Sagynbaeva said Monday there was no danger of an epidemic in the Ak-Suu district, which borders Kazakhstan and China.

"As soon as the diagnosis was made, all necessary measures in accordance with international standards were carried out. The measures are being implemented as we speak. Therefore, there is no danger of an epidemic," Sagynbaeva said.

"There are checkpoints in the area now. All movements by humans and livestock in and out of the affected area have been stopped," she said. "There is no need to close the borders with neighboring countries.”

Bubonic plague killed millions people in Europe during the Middle Ages, but cases of the disease are now rare.

The World Health Organization said the last reported outbreak of the plague was in Peru in 2010, when 12 people were infected.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/130826/boy-dies-of-bubonic-plague-in-kyrgyzstan