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WHO doesn't see bubonic plague in China as high risk: Spokeswoman

Filed on July 7, 2020
plague, china,covid-19, pandemic. WHO

(Reuters file)

The bubonic plague is a highly infectious and often fatal disease that is spread mostly by rodents.

An apparent outbreak of bubonic plague in China is being 'well managed' and is not considered to represent a high risk, a World Health Organization (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 U.N. 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.

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