WHO official Margaret Harris (Internet image)
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Geneva - An apparent outbreak of bubonic plague in China is being “well managed” and is not considered to represent a high risk, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official said on Tuesday.
Local authorities in the city of Bayan Nur in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia issued a warning on Sunday, one day after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague. It followed four reported cases of plague in people there last November, including two of pneumonic plague, a deadlier variant.
“We are monitoring the outbreaks in China, we are watching that closely and in partnership with the Chinese authorities and Mongolian authorities,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a UN press briefing in Geneva.
“At the moment we are not . . . considering it high-risk but we are watching it, monitoring it carefully,” she added.
The bubonic plague, known as the “Black Death” in the Middle Ages, is a highly infectious and often fatal disease that is spread mostly by rodents. Cases are not uncommon in China although they are becoming increasingly rare. (Reuters)