Swelling in Kyrgyzstan

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First fatality in decades from bubonic plague in Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, a 15-year-old boy died of bubonic plague. The national health authorities are trying to calm the population down, but the fear of a bubonic plague epidemic has been growing in the population since the death became known.

The 15-year-old victim of bubonic plague, according to the news agency "AFP", citing the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health, "is a cattle herder from the small mountain village of Ischke-Scherges in the east of the Central Asian country, not far from the border with Kazakhstan." died in the hospital of the Karakol region from the effects of bubonic plague. According to media reports, his body was cremated and buried under special security measures. In addition, for security reasons, 105 people who were in contact with the boy were quarantined in the hospital.

Fleas as carriers of the plague - rats as reservoirs of the pathogens
Regarding the source of the infection, the head of the hygiene department in the Ministry of Health, Tolo Isakow, said: "We suspect that the patient was infected by a flea bite." The infection via bites from the rat flea is typical for infections with the plague bacterium. The fleas serve as a so-called intermediate host. They pick up the pathogens with the blood of infected rats or other rodents and then pass them on to humans in the event of a prick. To minimize the risk of further infections, two teams of experts were therefore deployed to the region in which the 15-year-old died. They should "catch and examine the rodents," explained Isakow. According to the expert, bubonic plague disease was last registered in Kyrgyzstan around 30 years ago. After the death of the 15-year-old, however, an impending epidemic was by no means to be expected, emphasized the Kyrgyz health minister Dinara Saginbajewa.

Swine fever usually leads to death if left untreated
The bubonic plague is one of the four manifestations of infections with the bacterium Yersinia pestis. After an incubation period of a few hours to around a week, flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache and body aches begin to appear. Those affected feel extremely weak and are increasingly suffering from impairments of consciousness. In the further course, clearly visible, painful bumps form on the body of the affected person - usually in the armpit, groin or neck area. The swelling is due to infection of the lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels. In the late stage of bubonic plague, this can also cause other manifestations of the plague, such as plague sepsis or lung plague. Without adequate medical care that is initiated in good time, those affected are relatively likely to develop a fatal course of the disease. (fp)

Photo credit: Jürgen Maul / pixelio.de

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