A herdsman in the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia was diagnosed with the bubonic plague. Mongolian health authorities are also investigating a second suspected case involving a 15 year old who developed a fever after coming into contact with a marmot. Bubonic plague is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacterium which is spread from infected rodents to humans by fleas. In Inner Mongolia, the rodents in question are usually marmots, and the health alert put in place by Bayannur health officials warns against eating, hunting or transporting potentially infected animals and urges people to report diseased or dead rodents.
The plague can come in different forms: bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic. The latter is consistently fatal if left untreated and can be spread person to person via respiratory droplets. The bubonic plague is fatal 30 to 60 percent of the time if not treated. Antibiotics can cure it if administered early.
The plague in both its forms is an example of how the exploitation of nature and the consumption of wild animals can put humans at risk from deadly pathogens. A 1911 pneumonic plague epidemic in northeast China, which killed around 63,000 people, is believed to have been spread by the trade in marmot fur. Last week, two brothers in Mongolia caught bubonic plague from marmot meat, and a couple in Mongolia died of the plague after eating marmot kidney last May.
Worldwide, the plague infects 1,000 to 2,000 people a year, according to World Health Organization data reported by CNN, though that is likely an underestimate. An average of seven cases are reported every year in the U.S., mainly from squirrels. (source: ecowatch.com)
What more evidence is needed to stop abusing Nature and animals? Animals are not for our consumption, they are no meat or fur, nor other exploitations, they share the planet with us and must be respected just as our Earth must be. Do yourself a great favour, go vegan!
Respect Nature, use natural eco friendly products, Say Yes to Life, Earth Thanks! 🌿