Mongolian couple die from the bubonic plague after eating a marmot

A Mongolian couple have died of the bubonic plague after eating raw marmot kidney, triggering a quarantine that left tourists stranded in a remote region for days.

The ethnic Kazakh couple died on Wednesday 1st May in Mongolia’s westernmost province of Bayan-Ulgii, which borders Russia and China.

A six-day quarantine was declared in the region, preventing nine tourists from Russia, Germany and Switzerland from leaving.

Sebastian Pique, 24, an American Peace Corps volunteer who has lived in the region for two years, said he and the tourists were invited to the local governor’s office on Friday to be informed about the situation.

“After the quarantine [was announced], not many people – even locals – were in the streets for fear of catching the disease,” he said.

The quarantine was lifted on Monday 6th May after no other cases of the plague were reported.