Fears of the bubonic plague spreading in Kyrgyzstan have led to China announcing its athletes will not participate in the Issyk-Kul Sport Games to be held in the Issyk-Kul region, September 4-12. Mongolia has been pondering over following China’s suit.
The Kyrgyz government now accuses the media of sparking global panic over a confirmed case of bubonic plague death.
"The current situation in Ak-Suy district is under control of doctors and epidemiologists of the republic and there are no reasons to worry and fan up tension among local residents and the world public," the government statement is cited by Itar-Tass news agency.
On August 22, 15-year-old Temirbek Isakunov died of bubonic plague, which he most likely contracted several weeks earlier while camping in the mountains near Issyk-Kul Lake, where he had eaten barbecued marmot meat. It’s believed the boy could have been infected either from the meat – marmots are carriers of the plague bacteria – or by a bite from a flea carried by an infected rodent.
A state of emergency was declared for the Issyk-Kul region, medical aid posts were set up, and doctors have been checking every family for possible symptoms of the disease.
One hundred and sixty-two people in the village Ichke-Zhergez, where the boy lived, as well as in the neighboring settlements in Ak-Suy district, are now under medical supervision. There’s also a massive vaccination campaign and efforts to do away with rodents in the area.