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Old 08-03-2009, 11:25 PM   #1
Ancient Alien
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Norway
Posts: 60
Exclamation Pneumonic Plague Outbreak Shuts Down Town in China

BEIJING -- Thousands of people have been placed under quarantine in a town in northwest China after two people reportedly died of pneumonic plague and 10 others were confirmed infected with the deadly lung infection, health authorities said.

A 32-year-old herdsman died in Ziketan in Qinghai province, the provincial health bureau said in a statement posted on its Web site Saturday. It didn't say when he died.

Late Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency said a second man died of the disease. The agency said he was a neighbor of the first man.

The other 10 patients who are still quarantined didn't show any symptoms of fever and coughs, Xinhua said. Most of them are relatives of the first dead man.

The town of 10,000 people has been placed under quarantine and a team of experts has been sent to the area, the health bureau said.

Pneumonic plague is spread through the air and can be passed from person to person through coughing, according to the World Health Organization. According to the WHO, humans can die within 24 hours of infection.

The Qinghai health bureau statement warned that anyone who has visited Ziketan and surrounding areas since July 16 and has developed a fever or a cough should seek treatment at a hospital.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124918725030799375.html

From Wikipedia:

Pneumonic plague is the second most virulent and second least common form of plague (after septicemic plague), caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Typically, pneumonic form is due to a secondary spread from advanced infection of an initial bubonic form. Primary pneumonic plague results from inhalation of aerosolized infective droplets and can be transmitted from human to human without involvement of fleas or animals. Untreated pneumonic plague has a very high fatality rate.
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