In Kyrgyzstan, a bubonic plague scare has been reported after a teenage boy died of the illness also known as the black plague.
The Kyrgyzstan bubonic plague fears came after livestock herder Temirbek Isakunov, 15, succumbed to the disease that decimated Europe’s population centuries ago.
Confusion followed Isakunov’s illness and death, as the source of the infection isn’t quite clear.
Some agencies reported the Kyrgyzstan bubonic plague death was caused by a bite from a flea, while others blamed a barbecued marmot the teen ate while visiting with relatives.
Al Jazeera confirms the teen’s diagnosis, death, and circumstances of burial, explaining that the victim was cremated to prevent the spread of bubonic plague in Kyrgyzstan:
“Health ministers said the boy, from the small mountain village Ichke-Zhergez in eastern Kyrgyzstan, died last Thursday after being diagnosed with bubonic plague, which is carried by rodents and caused millions of deaths throughout Europe in the 14th century… His body was cremated and remains were buried with special precautions.”
Health official Tolo Isakov said:
“We suspect that the patient was infected with the plague through the bite of a flea.”
Another health minister tried to ease the Kyrgyzstan bubonic plague fears. Dinara Saginbayeva said that the disease is unlikely to spread, and that a larger scale quarantine is not warranted at this time:
“There will not be a bubonic plague epidemic… The form of the disease in the teenager is not conducive to a plague epidemic. So there are no grounds for closing the borders.”
At least three others have been reportedly sickened in the Kyrgyzstan bubonic plague outbreak thus far, including a woman and two children hospitalized with telltale symptoms of the disease.