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Teen Dies of Plague After Eating Infected Rodent in Kyrgyzstan

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 01:36 PM

A Kyrgyzstan teen died after contracting bubonic plague from eating a rodent infected with the disease, doctors there confirmed Monday.

Kyrgyzstan health ministers said the boy, who lived in the eastern mountain village of Ichke-Zhergez, died Thursday after being diagnosed with bubonic plague.

The bubonic plague killed millions in Europe in the 14th century but health ministers told Al Jazeera they do not believe the country is on the verge of an outbreak. His body was cremated and remains were buried with special precautions.

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The bubonic plague is named after the buboes — swollen lymph nodes — which typically develop within a week after an infected flea or rodent bites a victim, followed by a sudden onset of fever and chills, headache, fatigue or malaise, and muscle aches.

"There will not be a bubonic plague epidemic," Kyrgyzstan health minister Dinara Saginbayeva told Agence France-Presse. "The form of the disease in the teenager is not conducive to a plague epidemic. So there are no grounds for closing the borders."

The Guardian reported that 131 people, including 33 medical personnel, have been quarantined, although none of them have yet exhibited symptoms of the disease, per the Kyrgyzstan newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. The health ministry continues to find and quarantine people who came into contact with the teenager.

Neighboring Kazakhstan has tightened its borders adjacent to Kyrgyzstan and is operating quarantine points in light of a possible outbreak, the Tengrinews news agency said, according to The Guardian. The newspaper wrote that the Kazakh health ministry is looking for people who might have come into contact with the Kyrgyzstan teenager and the location of the rodents the teen came in contact with.

Russian officials are concerned because Kyrgyzstan citizens do not need a visa to enter the country. The Russian newspaper Izvestiya stated that more than 500,000 Kyrgyz work in Russia, reported The Guardian. The newspaper wrote that according to a Russian TV news report in Yekaterinburg, the city has started inspecting visitors coming from countries with a high bubonic plague risk in response to the Kyrgyzstan incident.

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A Kyrgyzstan teen died after contracting bubonic plague from eating a rodent infected with the disease, doctors there confirmed Monday.
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Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 01:36 PM
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