The bubonic plague of the 21st century has taken the life of a Mongolian couple, and as a result, 118 people (including some tourists coming from different countries) were quarantined by the Mongolian government for a period of six days.
The husband and wife ate raw marmot meat and organs, which they believed to be good for health, according to The Washington Post.
The deaths prompted authorities to impose a quarantine in the area where the couple lived, a town in the Bayan-Olgii province bordering China and Russian Federation.
Borders were closed, tourists were detained, and passengers who potentially had been in contact with the couple were removed from airplanes and immediately sent for medical checks. The quarantine was lifted on May 7, 2019.
Sebastian Pique, an American Peace Corps volunteer in the region, told AFP that the streets in the area have been clear due to those being afraid of contracting the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the plague spreads to humans through infected fleas and rodents like squirrels, chipmunks and prairie dogs. Today, modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague. However, if an individual does not receive care immediately, they can become seriously ill or die.
Symptoms of bubonic plague include fever, headache, chills and weakness, as well as "painful lymph nodes", the CDC site states.
Officials say marmots are a known carrier of the plague bacteria and are commonly linked to plague cases in Mongolia.
The Black Death wiped out millions of people in the Middle Ages but cases are now very rare.