Mongolian couple die of bubonic plague after eating marmot, triggering quarantine

Posted by  $  mminnick 3 months, 2 weeks ago to News
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"A Mongolian couple died of the bubonic plague -- reportedly after eating raw marmot -- prompting a six-day quarantine that left a number of tourists stranded in the region."

This tells me two things.
1. Don't eat raw Marmot (don't think I would eat it at all.)
2. Don't travel to Mongolia. (Didn't have plans to bu sure won't now)

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  • Posted by  $  Snezzy 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    More marmot plague murmurs:
    From a discussion on Watts Up With That in 2010:
    // Begin quoted material //
    George E. Smith July 22, 2010 at 9:36 am
    “”” In other news, Former Governor Sarah Palin is blamed for starting all this by making it Marmot Day instead of Groundhog Day in Alaska. As everyone knows, marmots can’t forecast a darn thing, but they can model. /sarc From a KU press release: “””

    Well that simply is not true; Marmots are great forecasters ! Back in the dark ages; round about the time when the Chinese invaded Mongolia; those northern nomadic tribes were great hunters and trappers; and traded in furs, including Marmots.
    Once in a while; every few years or so, a Trapper would come back into town from his trap rounds; and tell the villagers that he had observed some Marmots up on a mountain that were all acting silly as if they were drunk on something.
    At that news; the villagers would collect up all the recently collected pelts, in the town center, and burn the whole lot up; then they would burn the entire village to the ground; and move off into some adjacent valley, and start all over again.
    Nobody knew why; it was just part of the tribal lore that they had learned from their ancestors; the Gods would be angry if they didn’t follow the ritual.
    So when the Chinese invaded, and took over the place, and confiscated all the furs for themselves to send back to China; nobody thought to mention the ancient traditions that must be followed; and so when the Marmots started acting silly again; nobody dared to tell their Chinese masters, that they had to burn the town down.
    The furs went back to China; along with the Bubonic Plague that the Marmots were the vector for; and those furs subsequently made it to Europe; and the great Plagues took off in Europe.
    So Marmots are great predictors; if you know how to read them.
    Every now and then the ground squirrels in the Kings Canyon National Park, all come down with Bubonic Plague and they have to close regions of the Park to campers. Plague needs a burrowing rodent like vector that hibernates through the winter; so the fleas that carry the virus don’t all die during the winter cold.

    // End quoted material //
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  • Posted by  $  jlc 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Also, from an article in 2005 (as reported in journal Emerging Infectious Disease):
    "The meat from the sick camel that had been butchered on February 13 was shared among 11 families (106 members). No other food was shared among these families. The 4 patients with pharyngeal plague were among 37 people who had eaten this camel meat; 1 patient with bubonic plague (the man who slaughtered the camel) was among the 69 people who had not eaten the meat (risk ratio [RR] 7.7, p<0.05, Fisher exact test). Moreover, pharyngeal plague developed in 4 of 6 patients who had eaten raw camel liver, but not in 31 persons who had eaten only cooked camel meat or liver (RR not defined, p<0.01, Fisher exact test)."

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  • Posted by  $  jlc 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Per the CDC:
    Flea bites. Plague bacteria are most often transmitted by the bite of an infected flea. During plague epizootics, many rodents die, causing hungry fleas to seek other sources of blood. People and animals that visit places where rodents have recently died from plague are at risk of being infected from flea bites. Dogs and cats may also bring plague-infected fleas into the home. Flea bite exposure may result in primary bubonic plague or septicemic plague.

    Contact with contaminated fluid or tissue. Humans can become infected when handling tissue or body fluids of a plague-infected animal. For example, a hunter skinning a rabbit or other infected animal without using proper precautions could become infected with plague bacteria. This form of exposure most commonly results in bubonic plague or septicemic plague.

    Infectious droplets. When a person has plague pneumonia, they may cough droplets containing the plague bacteria into air. If these bacteria-containing droplets are breathed in by another person they can cause pneumonic plague. Typically this requires direct and close contact with the person with pneumonic plague. Transmission of these droplets is the only way that plague can spread between people. This type of spread has not been documented in the United States since 1924, but still occurs with some frequency in developing countries. Cats are particularly susceptible to plague, and can be infected by eating infected rodents. Sick cats pose a risk of transmitting infectious plague droplets to their owners or to veterinarians. Several cases of human plague have occurred in the United States in recent decades as a result of contact with infected cats.

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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Rodentia sciuridae marmotini marmota. Groundhog among subspecies. While eating raw marmot is probably a greasy, gamey meal, fleas carrying plague bacteria are the probable culprit, as our resident Theropod Allosauridae Allosaurus has suggested.
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