A health alert has been issued in Bolivia after a 14-year-old boy died from bubonic plague.

At least eight people are suffering from the disease in Apolo, a town with a population of 5,000 on the border with Peru.

The teenager was the third person to have died as a result of the outbreak in the past two months.

Health controls and disease prevention programs will be stepped up in the affected areas, regional health minister Rene Barrientos said.

The bubonic plague, commonly referred to as the Black Death in Europe, causes swollen and painful lymph glands in areas of the neck, armpits or groin.

It also causes fever and can be life-threatening if it gets into the bloodstream.

According to the World Health Organization, it is the most common form of plague, caused by infected flea bites or direct contact with infected animals such as rodents.

The last outbreak of bubonic plague in northern Peru was in 1994. It killed 35 people and infected more than 1,100 others.

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