BEIJING (AA) – State media have reported that China has sealed off parts of a northwestern city after a resident died of a strain of a disease that wiped out almost half of Europe’s population in the 14th century.
Xinhua news agency reported late Tuesday that a 38-year-old in the city of Yumen in Gansu province had died July 16 after being infected with bubonic plague by a wild rodent.
It said that several districts of the city have been turned into special quarantine zones.
Around 100,000 people live in Yumen. Local authorities have placed 151 of those who had been in direct contact with the victim in quarantine.
There have been no further signs of infections.
The plague is a bacterial disease spread by fleas that live on small rodents. It causes swollen lymph nodes – especially in the armpit and groin – which frequently lead to other symptoms if not treated.
These include gangrene, chills, sickness, a high fever, seizures, and muscle cramps
Without treatment, it kills around two thirds of those infected within four days.
In the 14th century, the plague – then called The Black death – became the most deadly disease outbreak in history. It is believed to have originated near China and spread throughout Europe from Italy.
Many people mistakenly thought that walking around with flowers in or around their nose would ward off the stench of those dying around them, and the evil that had afflicted them.
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