Plague

Apparently eating raw marmot kidneys is not actually good for one’s health – in fact, it might be a vector for bubonic plague. From NPR (hat tip: Bill Campbell):

Bubonic Plague Strikes In Mongolia: Why Is It Still A Threat?

The medieval plague known as the Black Death is making headlines this month.

In Mongolia, a couple died of bubonic plague on May 1 after reportedly hunting marmots, large rodents that can harbor the bacterium that causes the disease, and eating the animal’s raw meat and kidneys – which some Mongolians believe is good for their health.

This is the same illness that killed an estimated 50 million people across three continents in the 1300s. Nowadays, the plague still crops up from time to time, although antibiotics will treat it if taken soon after exposure or the appearance of symptoms.

Left untreated, the plague causes fever, vomiting, bleeding and open, infected sores — and can kill a person within a few days.

The ethnic Kazakh couple died in Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia’s westernmost province bordering Russia and China. It is not clear what treatment they received, if any.

Read the whole thing.

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