Published January 13, 2015
A 15-year-old boy has died of the bubonic plague in Kyrgyzstand after reportedly eating an infected barbecued marmot.
Sky News, citing health officials, report that more than 100 people, including 19 doctors, who came into contact with the infected teen, have been put into quarantine.
It is not known when exactly the boy died, but health officials say he fell ill after eating the meal in the town of Ichke-Zhergez, near the border with Kazakhstan. Authorities said his body was cremated and buried with "special precautions." Further specifics were not available.
The country's health ministry has told the Russian news agency Interfax that the teen's death is the first recorded case of bubonic plague in 30 years. The disease is believed to be the cause of the so-called "Black Death" that killed millions of people across Europe in the mid-14th century.
Marmots are a natural carrier of the disease and were once targeted for extermination by the Soviet Union, according to Interfax. Kyrgyzstan authorities reportedly stopped poisoning them in 1982 due to the cost.