Two people in Beijing, China, have been diagnosed with the pneumonic plague, a rare case of the highly-contagious disease that is fatal if left untreated. The two individuals are being treated at a hospital.
Pneumonic plague can be fatal within 24 to 72 hours and is the “most virulent form of plague,” according to the World Health Organisation, the bubonic form is less dangerous.
The patients are from the northwestern Inner Mongolia province, district officials said in an online statement, adding that the “relevant prevention and control measures have been implemented.”
Chinese censors removed the hashtag “Beijing confirms it is treating plague cases” as they tried to control discussions on social media.
Plague, also known as the Black Death, killed millions of people in the Middle Ages during widespread outbreaks the mid-1300s. It is a misconception that the plague has been wiped out, although new cases are rare.