It's Official - Plague Has
Broken Out In Northern India


NEW DELHI (UPI) - Doctors at India's National Institute of Communicable Diseases on Tuesday confirmed that the plague has killed four people in northern India.
The latest victim died at a hospital in the city of Chandigarh.
Star News TV reported that all three tests recommended by the World Health Organization on the organism isolated from patients' samples were positive for Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes plague.
India's prime minister's office was informed of the outbreak. At least four villages in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Utranchal have been quarantined and villagers' movements have been restricted.
At least 14 more people have been admitted to various hospitals. At least six of them are listed in critical condition.
Health ministry officials said these are isolated cases of plague, and there is no widespread outbreak. All necessary precautions are being taken to isolate people affected with the disease, officials said.
More than 60 people were killed in 1994 when plague struck India's western city of Surat.
The disease is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis and spread by fleas carried by rodents. Once people become infected, the often fatal disease spreads through coughing and sneezing.
Copyright © 2002 United Press International. All rights reserved.

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