The town of Tsagaannuur, near the border between Mongolia and Russian Federation, was quarantined for six days last week after the man and woman were diagnosed posthumously with plague, a World Health Organization (WHO) official told the Washington Post.
Ariuntuya Ochirpurev of the World Health Organization also confirmed that 118 people had come into contact with the Mongolian couple, and that they were quarantined and treated. The quarantine was lifted on May 7, 2019.
They died three days later, leaving behind four kids.
"After the quarantine [was announced], not many people - even locals - were in the streets for fear of catching the disease", Sebastian Pique, an American Peace Corps volunteer living in the region, told Agence France-Presse. The unnamed couple, who were ethnically Kazakh, reportedly fell ill April 27 after hunting and eating contaminated marmot, a large species of squirrel, in Mongolia.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains on its website that bubonic plague is a disease "that affects humans and other mammals" caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis.
But the plague - which killed some 50 million people in the 12th century when it was known as the Black Death - is still doing the rounds, as the recent death of two people in Mongolia has brought to the fore.
Its most common form is bubonic, which is spread by fleas and causes swelling of the lymph node.
According to the World Health Organization, from 2010 to 2015 there were 3,248 cases of the plague reported worldwide, including 584 deaths. Though it is rare now, the CDC warns that human plague infections still occur in the western United States and parts of Africa and Asia.