A case of bubonic plague has been confirmed inside the North Chinese region of Inner Mongolia.
The case was first reported on Saturday in Bayannur by the municipal health commission and confirmed on Tuesday, according to CNN, via the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The patient is currently isolated, receiving treatment at a local hospital and is in stable condition. Authorities warn there is a risk of human to human infection and advise against hunting, skinning, or eating animals that are known to cause infection. Citizens of the area have been asked to report any sick or dead animals or suspected plague cases.
“At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city. The public should improve its self-protection awareness and ability, and report abnormal health conditions promptly,” the local health authority advised, per the state-run newspaper China Daily.
A citywide Level 3 warning for plague prevention went into effect on Sunday and will remain in place through 2020. Level 3 is the second least serious rating in the four-level rating system.
The bubonic plague, one of the plague’s three forms, causes swollen lymph nodes, a fever, chills, and coughing.
Bubonic plague is responsible for the most fatal pandemics in human history.
The bubonic plague was responsible for the Black Death, a pandemic that spread through flea bites and took out roughly a third of Europe’s population between 1346 and 1353. It is estimated that over 50 million people worldwide succumbed to the plague. It is now treatable with antibiotics.
Although not common, the World Health Organization says that between 2010 and 2015, there were 3,248 cases of the plague reported worldwide with 584 deaths.