Boy dies of plague in Kyrgyzstan

A 15-year-old herder has died in Kyrgyzstan of bubonic plague – the first case in the country in 30 years – officials say.

SOURCE

The teenager appears to have been bitten by an infected flea.

The authorities have sought to calm fears of an epidemic and have quarantined more than 100 people.

Bubonic plague, known as the Black Death when it killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages, is now rare.

The teenager, named as Temir Issakunov, came from a mountain village in the north-east of the country, close to the border with Kazakhstan.

“We suspect that the patient was infected with the plague through the bite of a flea,” health ministry official Tolo Isakov said.

He said teams had been sent to the area to get rid of rodents, which host the fleas that can carry the deadly bacterium.

The teenager died last week, but doctors have only now diagnosed the cause. More than 2,000 people are being tested for bubonic plague in the Issik-Kul region.

Checkpoints have been set up and travel and livestock transport restricted.

Aside from the quarantine measures, doctors have also been prescribing antibiotics in the area.

Kazakhstan is reported to have tightened border controls to prevent the disease entering its territory.

According to the World Health Organisation, the last recorded outbreak of bubonic plague was in Peru in 2010 when 12 people were found to have been infected.