BMJ Opinion Piece Examines Lessons From Recent Plague Cases In Asia

The BMJ: Containing pneumonic plague
Dera Ranaivozanany, emergency physician with Hôpital Foch in Suresnes, France; Bertand Renaud, professor with the Faculté de Médecine at the Université de Paris in Paris, France; and Daniel Lucey, adjunct professor with the Department of Medicine-Infectious Diseases at Georgetown University Medstar Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

“On 13 November 2019 two cases of plague pneumonia, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, were reported at a hospital in the Chaoyang district of central Beijing. The two affected adults became ill in Inner Mongolia and were transferred by ambulance to Beijing with pneumonia of unknown cause. Given the high mortality of untreated plague pneumonia, and its potential for spread from person to person through respiratory droplets in this large urban setting, a high level of concern and rapid response was warranted. Later that month, bubonic (lymph node) plague was diagnosed in two patients in Inner Mongolia, raising the possibility of an ongoing epidemic of plague in this autonomous region of northern China and prompting public health measures to minimize transmission. To put these cases in context, China reported just five cases of plague of all types between 2013 and 2018, according to the World Health Organization…” (1/7).

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