And Now There's a Plague Outbreak

In this Wednesday, March 26, 2014 photo, some of the skeletons found by construction workers under central London’s Charterhouse Square are pictured. Archaeologists immediately suspected the bones came from a cemetery for victims of the bubonic plague that ravaged Europe in the 14th century.
Image: via AP

The bubonic plague, infamously responsible for the deaths of millions of 14th century Europeans and a very upsetting portion of Madame Tussaud’s “Spirit of London” ride, likes to pop up every now and then to remind us that life is fleeting and rodents are lethal. And once again, it’s back!

According to Smithsonian Magazine, this month three cases of the bubonic plague were confirmed in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China. Two patients, a husband and wife, were transported to Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing for treatment in early November, though their diagnoses were not announced until November 12; the third patient, a 55-year-old man, was diagnosed on November 16, and taken to a hospital north of Beijing.

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Apparently, there’s some concern in China about the spread of misinformation, and whether or not that’ll contribute to an eventual spread of disease, as was the case with the 2003 SARS outbreak. Still, the bubonic plague isn’t quite as exotic as it sounds—according to the World Health Organization, between 2010 and 2015 there were 3,248 cases reported globally, and 584 deaths.

Plus, it may or may not be on the New York City subway.

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