It's not clear how he contracted the disease specifically, but in the region, marmots and other rodents are thought to be a source of plague, which they pass on to fleas. Both were said to be linked to the consumption of marmot meat, according to The New York Times.
On Saturday, health authorities in Bayannur, a prefecture-level city in the western part of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, revealed a case of suspected bubonic plague in the Wulatezhongqi People's Hospital in Urad Middle Banner (or administrative division). "We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics", Kappagoda added. This includes hunting, consuming, and handling of tissue of the infected animals.
The Chinese authorities, who have no idea as to how the patient might have become infected, are now actively investigating a second suspected case of bubonic plague.
Additionally, residents are being urged to report findings of " dead or sick marmots ".
"Bubonic plague has been with us and is always with us, for centuries", World Health Organization spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters at a virtual briefing.
How did the bubonic plague come about?
Plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which dwells in fleas and rodents. It can be hard to identify in its early stages because symptoms, which usually develop after three to seven days, are flu-like.
A photo from 1900 of rat catchers at Darling Harbour in Sydney during one of the last outbreaks of bubonic plague in Australia. Septicemic plague results from bubonic plague, which may cause severe health consequences, such as meningitis, endotoxic shock, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Transmission at this point may be transmitted to other humans through droplets in the air. It can now be treated by antibiotics if administered within a certain time frame.
But so far, China's official case numbers remain low with five plague diagnoses since previous year; four patients came from Inner Mongolia and recovered normally while one man in Gansu Province died. As it stands the hottest plague countries are Madagascar, Peru and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.