It is not the first time in recent history that China has dealt with cases of plague. In 2014 the city of Yumen was sealed off and 151 people were placed in quarantine after a man died from the disease.
According to the CDC, plague – largely of the bubonic form – continues to crop up in rural areas of the US, including northern Arizona, southern Colorado and southern Oregon. In 2014 there were 16 cases and four deaths in the US, including that of a man from Utah thought to have come into contact with an infected flea or dead animal.
Recent epidemics have been reported in Africa, Asia and South America, predominately in rural regions. The WHO reported 3,248 cases and 584 deaths from plague worldwide between 2010 and 2015.
In 2017 Madagascar had an outbreak of plague, with 2,348 cases and 202 deaths, of which 1,791 cases were pneumonic plague.
This year in Mongolia a couple died from plague apparently after eating raw marmot kidney, triggering a six-day quarantine in the region.