Just a few days ago Russia announced that the country is currently in the stage of producing its 'revolutionary' Coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V. Now, reports revealed that Vladimir Putin's country has stepped up vaccinations against the bubonic plague after noticing a surge in the Siberian tourist region.

The deadly disease has been detected in the Altai Mountains—a mountain range in Central and East Asia, where Russia, China, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia come together. The alarming spread of the disease led Russia to vaccinate over 32,000 people. This move came after two deaths were recorded in Mongolia and two in China—both are Russian neighboring countries.

Bubonic Plague Fear

China Human trial
Vaccination (Representational picture) Pixabay

As per health officials, in the scenic Altai Republic around 18,090 people have been vaccinated after the virus spread. Earlier this week, the bubonic plague spreading fleas were detected in southern districts of Tuva Republic, and the regional chief Sholban Kara-ool ordered the vaccination of 14,000 people living close to the infection source.

The chief urged that everyone aged above two must be vaccinated to reduce the risk of getting affected by the "dangerous" disease. As per Rospotrebnadzor, Russia's health watchdog, "A particularly alarming aspect is the detection of the epizootic plague.... on the Ukok plateau in the Kosh-Agach district, for the first time in more than 60-years of observation."

Risk Factor

The mountain region in Russia is visited by a large number of tourists as well as by livestock breeders. As per the report, bubonic plague infection is possible while cutting marmots after poaching or through bites of fleas—carrying the infection—and ticks that remain in the holes of rodents after their death from the plague.

The disease is actually caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis and infected people require urgent hospital treatment with strong antibodies. The symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, which can be as large as chicken eggs, in the groin, armpit or neck, as well as fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches.

However, in the Altai Republic, thousands of people were vaccinated against the plague, including 16,500 people in the Kosh-Agach district. Local authorities also sent warnings to hotels and campsites.

Plague Outbreak

Marmot
Marmot Wikimedia commons

This week, reports revealed that a man, 42, in Khovd province of Mongolia had died due to this disease after buying two infected marmot rodents, seen as a food delicacy in the region. The man was a resident of Jargalant, which was sealed off and put into lockdown over the death. Earlier, a 15-year-old boy also died after contracting bubonic plague in Mongolia. Even in China's Inner Mongolia, two deaths from the disease have been reported.

However, two other Russian regions—TransBaikal and Buryatia—also are taking action against the deadly disease, which killed Up to 200 million people in the 14th century. As reported, urgent steps were taken after a wide spread of the pathogen via fleas was detected in two districts - Ovyursky and Mongun-Taiginsky, located in the remote mountain region in Siberia.