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Russian Region Orders Mass Vaccination Against Bubonic Plague

Igor Ivanko / Moskva News Agency

The head of a remote Russian region on Thursday said that herders and other residents of two districts on the border with Mongolia should be vaccinated against bubonic plague.

The order was issued after Mongolia's health ministry said Wednesday that bubonic plague killed a man in the country's west. It was the latest in a handful of cases to emerge there and in neighboring China this year.

The leader of the Siberian region of Tuva, Sholban Kara-ool, said all residents of the region's two border districts, Ovyursky and Mongun-Taiginsky, should be inoculated.

The two districts are home to some 14,000 people.

"The disease is dangerous," the regional leader said in a statement calling for everyone over the age of two to be vaccinated and for a permanent stock of the vaccine.

Public health officials earlier appealed to residents of the mountainous Tuva and Altai regions not to hunt or eat marmots.

Bubonic plague is highly contagious and transmitted between animals and humans through the bite of infected fleas and contact with infected animals like marmots.

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