A suspected case of bubonic plague in Mongolia’ Khovd province was declared negative, authorities said on Thursday. The samples were taken from a 37-year-old resident of Tsetseg soum, who was taken to a local hospital on Sunday after consuming marmot meat, Nyamdorj Tsogbadrakh, director of the National Center for Zoonotic Diseases, said at a press conference.
Although hunting marmots is illegal in Mongolia, many Mongolians regard the rodent as a delicacy and ignore the law, reports Xinhua news agency.
Since the beginning of this year, 13 suspected cases have been reported across the Asian country, four of which were confirmed by laboratory tests.
A 42-year-old man died of the bubonic plague in the same province on Tuesday, while a 15-year-old boy died in Govi-Altai in mid-July.
The country said that 17 out of Mongolia’s 21 provinces are now at risk of the bubonic plague.
The bubonic plague is a bacterial disease that can be spread by fleas living on wild rodents such as marmots and can kill an adult in less than 24 hours if not treated in time, according to the World Health Organization.