The Other-Other White Meat: Couple Dies From Bubonic Plague After Eating Raw Rodent Meat

Posing wild marmot

Source: Picture by Tambako the Jaguar / Getty

Couple Dies From Bubonic Plague After Eating Raw Rodent Meat

According to the BBC,  Mongolian couple died after eating raw rodent meat intended as a “folk remedy”.

The couple allegedly ate the meat and contracted the bubonic plague passed away shortly after. A six-day quarantine was declared on May 1 in the Bayan Olgii province in Mongolia, which sits by the borders to both China and Russia.

The reason for consuming the raw meat, you ask? It was reportedly supposed to bring good health and the rodent the two ate was a marmot, which has been known to carry the plague.

It’s rare for the bubonic plague to show up in humans these days, but unless treated with antibiotics, it proves to be deadly, as it did in Europe and Asia centuries ago.

118 people were in direct contact with the couple, including tourists from Switzerland, Sweden, South Korea, and Kazakhstan. “After the quarantine [was announced] not many people, even locals, were in the streets for fear of catching the disease,” US Peace Corps volunteer Sebastian Pique said. Those who had interacted with the couple were treated with antibiotics for prophylaxis.

Stats say the bubonic plague has a 30 to 60 percent fatality rate. The last time a case was reported in Mongolia was in 2017.

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