Second man died of pneumonic plague

China authorities has to lock down a town when another man died of pneumonic plague, the man who died Sunday was identified only as 37-year-old Danzin from Ziketan, the stricken town in Qinghai province, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Danzin was a neighbor of the first person who died, a 32-year-old herdsman whose name was not given. Another 10 people, mostly relatives of the first deceased man, were infected with the highly contagious deadly lung disease and undergoing isolated treatment in hospital.

The town of 10,000 people has been sealed off and a team of experts was sent to the area, the local health bureau warned anyone with a cough or fever who visited the town since mid-July should seek treatment at a hospital.

Pneumonic plague is spread through the air and can be passed from person to person through coughing, according to the World Health Organization. It is caused by the same bacteria that occurs in bubonic plague — the Black Death that killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages. While bubonic plague which is usually transmitted by flea bite can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early, pneumonic plague is one of the deadliest infectious diseases. According to the WHO, humans can die within 24 hours of infection.

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