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Chinese Town Undergoes Plague Disinfection

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A Chinese farming town where three people have died of pneumonic plague was being disinfected Tuesday by health authorities. Left untreated, the disease can kill a person within 24 hours of being infected.

Checkpoints were set up last Thursday after the outbreak was first detected in Ziketan, in the northwestern province of Qinghai. On Tuesday, workers began disinfecting the town and killing rodents and insects that can carry pneumonic plague bacteria, according to the provincial health department's Web site, the Associated Press reported.

People who visited the town since mid-July and have developed a cough or fever have been advised to seek hospital treatment. Pneumonic plague can be passed from person to person through coughing.

Along with the three who died, nine other people are infected and in hospital, said health officials and the official Xinhua news agency, the AP reported.

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