Pneumonic Plague hits China, Thousands Quarantined

The Pneumonic Plague is spreading in Northwestern China. One man has already died, 11 have been infected and thousands of others are in quarantine.

A 32 year old farmer in Ziketan, a Tibetan area of Qinghai province, has died from the pneumonic plague. The other 11 people are relatives of the dead farmer and are in stable condition in hospital. Over 10,000 others who live in the Ziketan area, which covers about 1,000 square miles, have been quarantined and a team of medical experts have been dispatched to the area.

Pneumonic plague is highly lethal and doea respond to antibiotics in most cases. It is an airborn bacteria that is spread through coughing and sneezing. It is similar to bubonic plague which killed 25 million people in Europe in the Middle Ages.

2 deaths in September 2008, a married couple, have been attributed to the pneumonic plague according to the Chinese health ministry.