Two People In Chinese Hospital After Becoming Infected With The Plague
Yes, it's that one. The one that was responsible for the Black Death, one of the worst pandemics that the world has ever known, the one that swept through the medieval world killing up to 200m people.
Weirdly enough, this is the second time this year that a disease like this has been spotted in the area.
Back in May, a couple from Inner Mongolia, which is - confusingly - in China, died from bubonic plague (slightly different, but similar outcome) after eating the raw kidney of a marmot.
Let's just revisit that sentence for effect - eating the raw kidney of a marmot.
Anyway, the plague is caused by bacteria and is transmitted - we now know - through infected animals and flea bites.
It comes in three delicious flavours: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic.
Bubonic swells the lymph nodes, septicemic infects the blood, and pneumonic effects the lungs.
Whichever you get, you're in big trouble.
More Like This
The latest two people to become infected have been whisked away to a quarantine in Beijing's Chaoyang District where they are being treated for pneumonic plague.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), pneumonic plague is arguably the worst of a bad bunch. In fact, if left untreated it is always fatal.
So, despite being widely regarded in the western world as a medieval illness, the plague - whilst treatable enough with antibiotics - is making something of a comeback in certain places.
Between the years of 2010 and 2015, more than 3,248 cases were reported. Of those cases, there have been 584 deaths, according to the WHO.
Apparently, the three most likely places in which to contract the plague are Madagascar, Peru, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
However, even if you're in the United States of America, you're not completely removed from the threat. There are a few - potentially up to a dozen - cases reported each year in the USA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were two deaths in Colorado back in 2015, and eight cases reported overall in the state the year before.
Such is the resurgence of the disease that - with nearly 50,000 cases in the past 20 years - the WHO has re-categorised the plague as a re-emerging disease.
If you're worried by this - and you shouldn't be, it's very unlikely - the best way to stop yourself getting plague is to keep yourself away from rodents and their fleas.
That means shifting places that they could live, using insect repellent, and reported dead animals.
Follow those steps, and you'll more than likely be OK.
Featured Image Credit: PA