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By Behindwoods News Bureau | May 09, 2019 11:43 AM

In an unusual and shocking case, a Mongolian couple died from bubonic plague after eating raw marmot (squirrel) meat. The couple died on May 1 in a remote area of the country's Bayan-Ölgii province, which borders China and Russia. The couple is survived by four children ranging in age from 9 months to 14 years old.  

Couple eats raw squirrel believed to have health benefits, dies of pla

As soon as the news spread in the province, it sparked a concern and row in the state. According to BBC, Ariuntuya Ochirpurev, a World Health Organisation official, said that a six-day strict isolation of 118 people who had come in contact with the couple, including locals and a number of foreign tourists, had been lifted on Tuesday. He further stated that the couple ate the rodent's raw meat and kidney, which is believed to be good for health in the area.

Media reports from The Washington Post stated that, the 38-year-old man, who worked as a border agent, and his wife, 37, died of multiple organ failure caused by septicemic plague. It all began late last month when the man came down with a fever. In less than a week, he was dead and his wife was hospitalised in the intensive care unit vomiting blood and suffering from severe headaches. She died on May 1 from toxic shock. That evening, lab results confirmed the pair had the plague, prompting to restrict the movement of people.

Soon after this outrage, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Bubonic plague can be transmitted via infected fleas and animals, like prairie dogs, squirrels, rats and rabbits. Throughout history, plague epidemics have caused widespread death around the globe in certain periods. Swollen, painful lymph node, usually in the groin, armpit or neck, is the main symptom of the bubonic plague. Fever, chills, headache, and extreme exhaustion can also occur, the CDC added.

Media reports further state that, after no new plague cases were reported, a strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease was lifted on Monday. The minister of health is still monitoring the situation.