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Two People in China Have Been Diagnosed With the Plague

Authorities confirm two patients in China have the pneumonic plague.

  • Two people in the China-Mongolia border have been diagnosed with pneumonic plague
  • Pneumonic plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis – the same bacterium that caused the Black Plague in 14th century Europe
  • Pneumonic plague is virulent and damaging and can kill in 24 hours

Authorities report that two new cases of pneumonic plague have been confirmed in northern China. The news comes after two other cases near the China-Mongolia border died o bubonic plague six months prior.

The patients, who both live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, are being treated in Beijing. Authorities have implemented preventive measures in the area. According to Fabio Scano of WHO China, “The [Chinese] National Health Commission are implementing efforts to contain and treat the identified cases and increasing surveillance“.

The two patients were residents of Sonid Left Banner in Northern China

The plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and transmitted to humans through flea bites and infected animals. It has three forms – pneumonic, septicemic, and bubonic. The pneumonic form, which affects the lungs, can be spread through coughing, spitting, or sneezing. It is highly virulent and damaging and can kill a person in 24 hours. Septicemic plague, on the other hand, infects the blood. Perhaps the most notorious form, the bubonic plague, affects the lymph nodes.

The bubonic plague caused several pandemics throughout the course of human history, with the Black Plague being the most popular, having killed up to 60% of the European population. Currently, no vaccine against the plague is available, but antibiotics can counter complications and prevent death if administered immediately.

The World Health Organization has classified the plague as a re-emerging disease, with close to 50,000 cases recorded globally in the past 20 years. In 2014, the Chinese city of Yumen was affected by the plague after a man was reported to have died due to the disease while in 2017, an outbreak of plague was declared in Madagascar.

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Fire Causes Damage Near Another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Japan

The fire near Shirakawa-go occurred a few days after much of the ancient Shuri Castle in Okinawa Prefecture, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, was ravaged by fire.

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  • Gifu Prefectural Police received a call about a fire near Shirakawa-go
  • Shirakawa-go is a UNESCO World Heritage Site popular for its farmhouses with its slanting thatched roofs
  • The fire occurred a few days after much of the ancient Shuri Castle in Okinawa Prefecture, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, was ravaged by fire

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Spain Has Just Confirmed The World’s First Case of Sexually-Transmitted Dengue

This is the first documented case of dengue transmitted through sexual contact.

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  • Spain confirms the world's first sexually-transmitted case of dengue
  • The patient has never traveled to a dengue-endemic country
  • Both the patient and his partner's samples tested positive for dengue strains circulating in Cuba

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Singapore Will Become World’s First Country To Ban Ads on High-Sugar Drinks

The “war on diabetes” continues in Singapore.

  • Singapore will soon become the first country to ban ads on sugar-laden drinks
  • This measure aims to combat the diabetes problem in the city-state
  • Banning ads on sugary drinks is one of the four measures proposed by Singapore's Ministry of Health

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