The disease, which is spread mostly by rodents and infected fleas, is highly infectious and often fatal. A 14th century plague pandemic swept through Asia, Europe and Africa, killing an estimated 50 million people.

The first case of bubonic plague has been confirmed in China, The Beijing News reported. According to the newspaper, a man that had been hospitalized in the city of Bayan Nur a day earlier is infected with the disease. The patient has been isolated and his condition is stable, according to The Beijing News.

Authorities in Bayan Nur have issued a level-three alert, prohibiting residents from hunting and eating animals that can carry the infectious disease and urged everyone to report suspected cases immediately to authorities.

Cases of bubonic plague appear from time to time in China, but outbreaks have been rare. In November, four people were hospitalized with the disease; two of them had pneumonic plague.

The development comes as a case of bubonic plague was reported in neighbouring Mongolia, where a 27-year-old was hospitalized and is now in critical condition after eating marmot meat. Mongolian authorities have introduced quarantine in two districts as the patient directly contacted more than 60 people and over 400 people indirectly.