China confirms new case of dengue fever shortly after issuing health alert for bubonic plague infection

This comes a day after the authorities issued a health warning as suspected cases of bubonic plague were reported in Inner Mongolia


                            China confirms new case of dengue fever shortly after issuing health alert for bubonic plague infection
(Getty Images)

China has confirmed a new case of dengue fever soon after issuing a bubonic plague alert. According to local health authorities, on Sunday, July 5, a resident in the eastern Chinese city of Guangde was diagnosed with dengue fever. This comes a day after the authorities issued a health warning as suspected cases of bubonic plague were reported in Inner Mongolia.

The local government of Guangde on Tuesday, July 7, shared a statement on its social media account about the new case, as per state broadcaster CCTV. The statement said that the patient, whose identity has not been revealed, has been receiving treatment at a local hospital since being diagnosed with dengue fever. The state broadcaster CCTV also reported that “the patient had a history of travel in India, Myanmar, Pakistan, and other countries. The transmission route of dengue fever is mosquito bites, which can be prevented and controlled. Residents who have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and nausea should consult a doctor in time”. However, the online notice by Guangde government seemed to be deleted later from the government’s social media page, The Daily Mail reported.

The news of the dengue case comes soon after suspected cases of bubonic plague were reported in the East Asian country. A 15-year-old boy from Ulaankhus soum of the autonomous region has been hospitalized after having a high fever. It has been said that the patient had eaten a marmot, relatively large ground squirrel, hunted by a dog. While in another case, a 27-year-old man and his teenage brother were admitted to two different hospitals in Khovd province. The brothers were reportedly described as “stable”.

The authorities sounded a warning in Inner Mongolia's Bayannur on July 4 with the area being placed on a third level alert. The warning prohibits the hunting and eating of animals that could carry the plague. It also urges the public to notify any suspected cases of plague or fever with no clear causes and to let know the authorities about any sick or dead marmots. 

On Tuesday, July 7, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was “carefully” monitoring the case of bubonic plague after getting notifications from the authorities in Beijing. While the Party secretary Chang Zhigang of Bayannur, the Chinese city that reported the bubonic plague case, ordered city officials on July 6 to ensure that all plague-prevention measures would be taken properly.

Meanwhile, an earlier report claimed that Chinese researchers have issued a warning after identifying a swine influenza virus prevalent in China that has the potential for pandemic spread in humans. The researchers have named the virus, G4 EA H1N1. “Serological surveillance among occupational exposure population showed that 10.4% (35/338) of swine workers were positive for G4 EA H1N1 virus, especially for participants 18 to 35 years old, who had 20.5% (9/44) seropositive rates, indicating that the predominant G4 EA H1N1 virus has acquired increased human infectivity.

"Such infectivity greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses,” wrote authors in the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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