Chinese town sealed off after death from pneumonic plague
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0544 GMT (1344 HKT)
The Yersinia pestis bacteria that causes the plague.
- A middle-aged man died from pneumonic plague in China last week
- 151 people who came into contact with the patient have been quarantined
- Parts of Yumen, a city in northwestern China, have been sealed off
(CNN) -- A Chinese town has been on lockdown since last week after a man died of the plague.
Parts of the city of Yumen was sealed off by police after a 38-year-old man died in a hospital on July 16, according to state news agency Xinhua. He had contracted pneumonic plague.
On the same day of the patient's death, a quarantine zone was set up, affecting at least 30,000 people living in Yumen city in China's northwestern Gansu province. The original quarantine period is set for nine days.
The deceased had been in contact with a dead marmot, a small furry animal in the squirrel family, according to Xinhua. He had chopped up the dead animal to feed to his dog, reports the AFP. It is not known whether the dog became infected.
London's hidden past uncovered by project
AIDS: How to survive a global plague
The plague is a severe bacterial infection of the lung that affects rodents, some animals, and humans. Caused by the same bacteria that leads to the bubonic plague, the pneumonic type is considered more rare but more dangerous as it can be transmitted between humans through inhalation, without the involvement of animals.
The China Daily said four quarantine sectors had been set up in Yumen and 151 people who had come into close contact with the deceased patient are under medical observation. None of them have reported any symptoms so far, according to Xinhua.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. says when plague is left untreated, all forms of the disease will rapidly progress to death. Antibiotics that fight the plague bacteria should be given to a patient within 24 hours of the first symptoms.
The plague occurs in many places in the world today, including Africa, North and South America and Asia.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
It's a very big challenge but NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan thinks it can be done.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
CNN's Atika Shubert explains how the most recent ISIS video differs from the other previous hostage execution videos.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1738 GMT (0138 HKT)
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
November 16, 2014 -- Updated 1720 GMT (0120 HKT)
Volunteer fighters in eastern Ukraine dig down just 800 meters from the front line.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1729 GMT (0129 HKT)
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1204 GMT (2004 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.