Health officials fear an outbreak of bubonic plague in Central Asia after a teenage boy died from the disease and three more were admitted to hospital in Kyrgyzstan.

Temirbek Isakunov (15), from a mountain village near the border with Kazakhstan, reportedly died from the disease last week after eating an infected barbecued marmot. Kyrgyzstan’s Emergency Ministry said a young woman and two children from a different village who came into contact with Isakunov were hospitalised on Tuesday with the high fever and swelling around the neck and armpits characteristic of bubonic plague, local news outlets reported.

A total of 131 people, including 33 medical personnel, have been quarantined, though none of them have yet exhibited symptoms of the disease, Komsomolskaya Pravda in Kyrgyzstan reported.

Kazakhstan has stepped up its border control with Kyrgyzstan and is operating quarantine points in light of the possible outbreak. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2013

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