A 15-year-old boy died from bubonic plague in western Mongolia.
The teenager caught the plague after hunting and eating marmot, according to Dorj Narangerel, spokesperson for Mongolia’s Ministry of Health. He died on Sunday.
Marmots are large ground squirrels, a type of rodent, that have historically been linked to plague outbreaks in the region.
Tests confirmed the teenager had contracted bubonic plague and authorities imposed quarantine measures in the Tugrug district of Gobi-Altai province.
The quarantine, which began on Sunday, will run until Saturday, and authorities have already isolated 15 people who came into contact with the teenager. All of them are healthy.
Rodents are the main vector of plague transmission from animals to humans, but the disease can also be passed on through flea bites or from person to person.
Bubonic plague is also known as the Black Death.
The plague is characterised by swollen lymph nodes. Flu-like symptoms take at least 3-7 days to develop.
Bubonic plague periodically appear around the world. Madagascar confirmed more than 300 cases in 2017.
In May last year, at least two people in the country of Mongolia died from the plague, which they contracted after eating the raw meat of a marmot. Marmots are rodents. Their meat and kidney are consumed for good health.
Marmots can carry plague bacteria. Hunting marmots is illegal.
Black Death caused about 50 million deaths across Africa, Asia and Europe in the 14th Century. In the 19th Century there was a plague outbreak in China and India, which killed more than 12 million.
Experts say its unlikely for the Bubonic plague to become an epidemic or pandemic amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.