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Two reportedly dead from ‘rodent plague’ in Tibet, China warns residents to stay at home

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Two Tibetans have died from a pneumonic plague spread by mice and other rodents in a southern Tibetan county, according to local media, with Chinese authorities now ordering county residents to stay at home.

The two victims died in September in Lhoka city, Tsona county, Lhoka prefecture, a source in the region told RFA, adding that neither has been publicly identified.

“Moreover, people are not allowed to discuss it,” According to the source, who requested anonymity in order to speak freely.

“But we have learned that the two individuals had been helping someone else showing symptoms of the plague. One of them died at a hospital in Tsona county,” the source added.

According to RFA, a strict lockdown is now in effect in Tsona, with county residents being told not to leave their homes.

“And authorities are warning people not to talk openly about this issue, saying they will be charged with spreading rumours if they are caught.”

A September 27 statement by the Disease Control Center of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and other official Chinese reports have so far confirmed one of the two deaths, saying the individual died on September 25 after developing breathing difficulties and a high fever.

Reached for comment, staff at Tsona county’s Public Office also confirmed one death but declined to provide further details of the plague’s spread or the numbers of people now infected.

“We have been able to contain the rodent plague for now, so if anyone wants to travel to Tsona county they just need to follow the protocols already established to stop the spread of COVID,” the staff member said, also speaking on condition of anonymity, RFA reported.

After discovering a dead mouse in Baotou, authorities in China’s Inner Mongolia issued a rodent plague warning in April, warning residents to stay away from mice and other wild animals, according to an April 3 report in the official Global Times.


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Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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