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Bubonic Plague-Infected BBQ Marmot Kills Teen
A teenage boy has died of bubonic plague in Kyrgyzstan after reportedly eating an infected barbecued marmot.
More than 100 people - including 19 doctors - have been put in quarantine after the 15-year-old's death, health officials said.
The boy fell ill after eating the meal with family and friends in the small mountain village of Ichke-Zhergez, in eastern Kyrgyzstan, close to the border with Kazakhstan.
Health officials said the boy died in the Karakol regional hospital. His body was cremated and his remains were buried with "special precautions".
A statement from the country's health ministry said that an epidemic was "unlikely", Interfax reported.
The last recorded case of bubonic plague in Kyrgyzstan occurred 30 years ago, health minister Dinara Saginbayeva said.
"The form of the disease in the teenager is not conducive to a plague epidemic," she said.
Doctors are administering antibiotics in the area where the boy lived and are trying to track down anyone who may have eaten the food.
Bubonic plague is a bacterial infection that is a strain of the "Black Death", a virulent disease that killed tens of millions of people in 14th century Europe.
Primarily an animal disease, it is extremely rare in humans. It is normally transmitted by flea bite but can also be transmitted by exposure to the flesh of an infected animal.
Marmots are a natural carrier of the disease and were targeted for extermination in the Soviet Union.
But the authorities in Kyrgyzstan stopped poisoning them from 1982 onwards due to the costs involved, Interfax said.