Kyrgyzstan teen dies of bubonic plague; official says 'no epidemic'

Aug. 26, 2013 at 9:27 AM

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A Kyrgyzstan boy died from bubonic plague nine days after eating barbecued marmot, a health official said, giving assurances "there will be no plague epidemic."

Temirbek Isakunov, 15, died Thursday RIA Novosti reported. Xinhua said the boy became sick Aug. 17.

Kyrgyzstan Health Minister Dinara Saginbayeva confirmed Monday that bubonic plague caused the death.

Temirbek had told doctors he became ill after eating marmot at his relatives' home in southern Kyrgystan.

Since he was hospitalized, 105 people who came into contact with him have been quarantined because the disease is highly contagious and can be transmitted by coughs or sneezes.

"I can say in all certainty that there will be no plague epidemic. This is a localized outbreak," Saginbayeva said.

There have been no major epidemics of bubonic plague, the disease that caused the Black Death epidemic in Europe in the 14th century, since the early 20th century.

Since then, there have been small-scale outbreaks of the disease, particularly in Asia, officials said.

The bubonic plague can be treated with antibiotics.

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