Close contacts of China plague patients released after showing no symptoms: official


BEIJING (Reuters) – Some people who had been in close contact with pneumonic plague patients from Inner Mongolia have been released from medical observation, China’s health authority said on Monday.

Out of 46 close contacts of the two now-quarantined pneumonic plague patients, 42 were released from medical observation and four were still under monitoring, the health commission of the autonomous region said in a statement on its website.

Pneumonic plague, a lung disease spread mostly by rats, has death rates of close to 100% in humans if left untreated, according to Beijing health authorities.

None of the 46 people have shown signs of fever or other abnormal symptoms, according to the statement.

Officials said the risk of an outbreak of pneumonic plague was minimal after the two cases were confirmed last week in Beijing.

Inner Mongolia health authority reported on Sunday a case of bubonic plague, which is the most common form of plague globally and can spread to lungs and cause the more severe pneumonic plague.

A total of 28 people who had close contact with the bubonic plague patient were still under observation without showing any abnormality, the Monday statement said.

No new case of plague was found in the region, the statement said.

Reporting by Roxanne Liu in Beijing and Meg Shen in Hong Kong; Editing by Alex Richardson