02 Sep 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: The spread of Bubonic plague in central Asian country Kyrgyzstan has sent the officials in a tizzy after it killed one rural boy last week and three more people showed possible symptoms of the disease.
The plague killed a 15-year-old boy named Temirbek Isakunov, who was treated in the easternmost district of Ak-Suu in Kyrgyzstan and the hospital was on lockdown by police who guarded the hospital.
The emergency ministry of the country has announced that three more people from the same village have been hospitalized on suspicions of being infected with the deadly disease.
"Residents of Sary-Kamysh were admitted to the hospital the same week and are now under medical care," the ministry said in a statement. The patients displayed symptoms like fever, swollen lymph nodes in their armpit and neck areas, all of which are symptoms of bubonic plague
A woman with a toddler and a teenager are the three patients undergoing treatment and all had contact with the deceased 15-year-old, an informed Kyrgyzstan government source told reporters on conditions of anonymity.
While the health ministry has denied that any new patients have been infected, it has revealed that 131 people have been isolated to prevent the possible spread of the disease, the ministry's public health official Asylbek Sydykanov said.
The country's health ministry has warned its citizens against travelling to Kyrgyzstan ‘until the epidemiological situation regarding the plague is stabilized'. Emergency officials have also gone door to door in the boy's village to look for possible victims of the infection, but did not find signs of the disease, the emergency ministry said.
Kazakhstani officials have said that the country is stepping up preventive measures to stop any possible outbreak on its territory, introducing ‘special monitoring' of people crossing the border from Kyrgyzstan.
Temirbek, a herdboy from the village of Ichke-Zhergez, is thought to have become infected after being bitten by a flea carried by a marmot that he reportedly prepared for food.
Bubonic plague is a bacterial infection that is a strain of the ‘Black Death', a virulent disease that killed tens of millions of people in 14th-century Europe. Primarily an animal disease, it is said to be extremely rare in humans.