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Town in Mongolia closed for quarantine after Bubonic plague claimed two lives

By The Siberian Times
04 May 2019

US, Dutch, Swiss, Swedish, South Korean, German and Russian tourists banned from leaving the area.

A group of foreign and Russian tourists got locked in the city of Uglii where plague claimed lives of a husband and his pregnant wife. Picture: Timur Konev

The Mongolian Ministry of Health confirmed two people - a 38 years old man and his pregnant wife, 37 - died from plague after consuming raw meat and internal organs of a marmot. 

Their deaths left four children as orphans aged from two to 13. 

Dramatic pictures have shown at least one aircraft being met by anti-contamination emergency workers in a bid to prevent spread of the disease. 

The local town of Ulgii (or Ölgii) on the border with Russia was shut for quarantine by Mongolian health authorities and army.

Several dozen tourists from all over the world had to alter their holiday plans, and are now waiting to hear when they might be allowed to leave the town. 

Bubonic plague lockdown


Bubonic plague lockdown


Bubonic plague lockdown

Sanitary and epidemiological services in Russia’s Altai and Tuva republics, which neighbour the Bayan-Ölgii province of Mongolia, are on high alert since news broke of the plague outbreak. Pictures: Vesti Rossiya


‘Did you think that the plague was something from the Dark Ages? Us too!! We were just about to leave Ulgii to go deeper into Mongolia, but all exits of the town were shut and we were not allowed to leave. Half of the city is closed due to some plague-contaminated marmots!’ wrote traveler Elena Kovena from Kemerovo who is marooned on the border with her husband Timur. 

‘This is just so surreal!’ 

With a big group of fellow travellers from the US, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea and Germany, the Russians were besieging the authorities, desperate to leave the town.

The tragic family that died from plague got infected after eating raw kidneys of a marmot. 

An old Mongolian tradition says that a raw meat and internal organs of freshly killed marmot strengthens health, local media reported. 

Bubonic plague lockdown


Bubonic plague lockdown


Bubonic plague lockdown


Bubonic plague lockdown

Russian adventurers Elena and Timur got stuck in the city of Uglii after Bubonic plague killed two people. Pictures: Timur Konev


The Mongolian Ministry of Health stressed they did not think that the situation with the plague was critical or anywhere near epidemic. 

Yet there was no deadline announced for the quarantine which in the worst case scenario can last as long as 21 days. 

‘We were told to wait for updates on Monday, 6 May’, tourist Timur Konev said. 

Speaking from inside the Eagle's Nest hotel, with an international group of stranded tourists sharing drinks and a meal, Timur said: ‘Six nationalities got together earlier today to plan the escape route. 

‘We spoke to local administration, to local police, but they didn’t allow us out.’

A group of foreign and Russian tourists got locked in the city of Uglii where plague claimed lives of a husband and his pregnant wife  

Sanitary and epidemiological services in Russia’s Altai and Tuva republics, which neighbour the Bayan-Ölgii province of Mongolia, are on high alert since news broke of the plague outbreak.

In Uglii a total of 158 people who came directly or indirectly into contact with the couple are ‘under supervision’.

The plague is a bacterial disease that is spread by fleas living on wild rodents such as marmots. 

The disease can kill an adult in less than 24 hours if not treated in time, according to the World Health Organisation.

The plague is believed to be the cause of the Black Death that spread through Asia, Europe and Africa in the 14th century, killing an  estimated 50 million people.

Comments (9)

. Sorry! but the People are Mongolia and the wife is not pregnant. Russian, Korea, US, Netherland, Sweden, and Switzerland People are tourist. In the Ölgii 22 tourists traveling. (I can a little bit English write
Anja, Mongolia
08/05/2019 01:57
0
0
Naive tourist, who want to come close to indigenous cultures by eating stuff they normally would not eat. Does commonsense exist in liberal minds? Obviously not. I`m thinking about the Darwin Award for this two lost souls.
Hunter, Scottland
08/05/2019 01:55
1
7
I apologize on behalf of my people lol. Mongolians are extremely superstitious and they base a lot of their logics on superstition, religion, myths etc. and not actual facts. These people ate the marmot because they thought it would bring them good health. Again, we are very sorry for bringing back the plague. I hope I don't lie lmao ;)
Narandelger Suukhbat, Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar
07/05/2019 16:46
8
0
People eat all sorts of things around the world so don't be judgemental. Snails in France, insects in Thailand... There's no way to tell on sight if the animal is carrying some disease.
Jul, Malaysia
07/05/2019 07:27
5
1
To that Indian guy saying "Why do Mongolians try to eat everything they can?. " Mongolians do not try to eat everything they can! Apart from 2 stupid people eating marmots raw kidneys what else have you seen Mongolians eat? Why do you lie?!
Sally, London
07/05/2019 05:47
3
0
You'd think that after 4 days the quarantine would be over, because by then more people would have died or at least shown symptoms. Doing it too long is just not worth it.
Andrew, United States
07/05/2019 01:35
1
2
Vai Corinthians
Marcos, Franzzo
06/05/2019 00:55
3
7
Why do Mongolians try to eat everything they can? Out of all the food they could have had, they chose a contaminated Marmot? It has been proven that The Black Death, a Bubonic Plague, killed nearly 65% of Europe, thanks to the  rats and here we have these people feeding on Marmots!
Vignesh, India
05/05/2019 21:59
9
29
Not trying to be offensive but keep that black death over there we dont want it here
Justin, Canada
05/05/2019 11:13
21
14
1

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