The Bubonic Plaque has held a stigma of death and decay since it nearly wiped out Europe in the past. Although cases are still found today, their infestations are typically small and easily cured with modern medical treatment.
However, in the Chinese town of Yumen, the bubonic plaque has resurfaced. As a result, 151 individuals are being quarantined and the remainder of the 30,000 population is sealed within the city's boundaries by the Chinese government.
In Yumen, only one individual has been died of the bubonic plaque, resulting in the 151 quarantines. However, according to China Central Television (CCT), all roadways out of the city have been blockaded so the 30,000 residents within are sealed in.
No one is allowed in either as all inbound traffic is being rerouted around the city. Although there is little risk of the bubonic plaque spreading beyond the deceased man and the 151 quarantined individuals, there is concern that the rations within the city of Yumen might not last if the city is sealed for too long. CCT reported that there should be enough food to last a little while.
"The city has enough rice, flour and oil to supply all its residents for up to one month. Local residents and those in quarantine are all in stable condition."
The bubonic plaque scare started when the deceased man was in contact with a marmot that carried the disease. When the Yersinia Pestis bacterium infected the man, he became ill. His body was removed from contact with the remainder of the city as were the 151 individuals that were quarantined, yet there is still some cause for concern, according to researchers with the Lancet.
"If the Justinian plague could erupt in the human population, cause a massive pandemic, and then die out, it suggests it could happen again. Fortunately we now have antibiotics that could be used to effectively treat plague, which lessens the chances of another large scale human pandemic."Although the bubonic plaque has been under control for centuries, there are still cases that pop up in modern first world countries, such as the United States. However, The US Centres For Disease Control (CDC) advises that a major plaque is unlikely to spread.
"Modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague, but that without prompt treatment the disease can cause serious illness or death."At this time, the biggest threat to the Chinese City of Yumen is the lack of adequate food supplies to hold them over for longer than a month if it is deemed that they must remain sealed from the broader populace.
Photos Courtesy: america.aljazeera.com and Kinja