>> Sunday, August 2, 2009
We are scared of the H1N1 virus but here's something that is more scary: the pneumonic plague. A town in northwest China has been sealed off because one person there has died of the pneumonic plague while 11 others are infected. According to the World Health Organization pneumonic plague is a highly virulent disease that is spread through the air and can be passed from person to person through coughing. It is caused by the same bacteria that occurs in bubonic plague - the Black Death that killed more than 20 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages. Pneumonic plague is actually more dangerous than the bubonic plague, humans can die with it within 24 hours after infection.
The person who died of the pneumonic plague Ziketan town in Qinghai province is a 32-year old herdsman. The eleven others who were infected are mostly his relatives. The Chinse government has quarantined the town's 10,000 people.