Couple Dies Of Bubonic Plague After Eating Raw Marmot Meat

The deaths occurred in a remote part of Mongolia, where locals believe eating raw rodent kidney is good for their health.

The Mongolian government has lifted a six-day quarantine on 118 people that was imposed after a Mongolian couple died of bubonic plague.

The couple reportedly caught the disease after eating raw kidney from a marmot, a burrowing type of rodent, according to USA Today.

Although locals believe eating raw rodent meat is healthful, authorities have warned citizens that the animals can carry Yersinia pestis, the plague-causing bacteria, according to Agence France-Presse.

At least one person in the country dies of plague each year, usually from eating raw marmot, the agency noted.

The plague, which is typically transmitted from animals to humans by fleas, has a fatality rate of 30% to 60% if untreated, according to the BBC.

After the couple died on May 1, the county imposed the quarantine on people who had come in contact with the couple, including seven tourists from Switzerland, Sweden, Kazakhstan and South Korea.

All of the quarantined people were treated with antibiotics as a preventative, Ariuntuya Ochirpurev of the World Health Organisation in Ulaanbaatar told the BBC.

Local governor Aipiin Gilimkhaan told AFP that no other cases have been reported in the area since the quarantine was lifted Monday.

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