A Mongolian couple who ate raw marmot meat passed away from the bubonic plague last week.
According to USA Today, the couple died on May 1 in an isolated area in Mongolia’s Bayan-Ölgii province. Their death led to a six-day quarantine of 118 people who were in contact with the couple which included locals and a group of tourists. They were given antibiotics to prevent further contraction of the plague bacteria.
American Peace Corps volunteer Sebastian Pique said that people were scared to leave their homes after the quarantine was lifted:
“After the quarantine [was announced] not many people, even locals, were in the streets for fear of catching the disease,”
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World Health Organization official Ariuntuya Ochirpurev reported to the BBC that the couple ate raw marmot meat and kidney. The dish is considered to be consumed for good health. The rodent is also illegal to hunt in the area and it is known to be a carrier of the plague bacteria.
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