(WHDH) — A couple recently died from the bubonic plague after they consumed raw marmot meat, prompting a six-day quarantine in East Asia.
The couple ate the rodent’s meat and kidney while in Mongolia because they believed it would serve as a remedy to bring “good health,” a World Health Organization spokesperson told the BBC.
Officials say marmots are a known carrier of the plague bacteria and are commonly linked to plague cases in Mongolia.
The deaths prompted a quarantine situation in Mongolia’s Bayan Olgii province, which sits on the border of Russia and China.
The World Health Organization told the news outlet that 118 people came into contact with the couple. They were all isolated and treated with antibiotics. Some travelers were barred from leaving the area during the quarantine.
While the plague is very rare, Mongolia, along with the United States, still have cases each year.
High fever, chills, nausea, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes are symptoms of the plague.
The plague has up to a 60 percent fatality rate if not treated.
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