As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, a three-year-old boy in China's south-west Yunnan Province has reportedly caught the bubonic plague.

This comes after two deaths were reported from the bacterial disease in inner Mongolia, earlier last month.

For the record, the bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, was the deadliest pandemic recorded in human history, which resulted in the deaths of up to 75–200 million people in Eurasia and North Africa, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351.

The zoonotic disease, spread by spread by fleas living on wild rodents such as marmots (large ground squirels), can kill an adult in less than 24 hours if not treated in time, according to the World Health Organization.

Local officials in Menghai county, where the case involving the toddler has been detected, have initiated a Level IV emergency response to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

The case was found during a county-wide screening, after three rats were discovered dead for unknown reasons in a village.

Just yesterday, a 25-year-old woman from western Mongolia's Khovd province was confirmed to have contracted the disease after consuming marmot meat last week.

Authorities have identified, and isolated 19 people who have had close contact with her, at a local hospital.

There have been 22 suspected bubonic cases in Mongolia since the beginning of this year, six of which were confirmed by lab tests. Three of the six patients have died.

Elsewhere in the world, health officials in Jefferson Country in Colorado, US, have detected the bubonic plague in two prairie dog colonies in Bear Creek Lake Park.

As for COVID-19, the disease has so far infected more than 33.3 million people, and killed over a million, around the world.

Source: Agencies
Photo source: Astro Awani