ULAN BATOR, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Mayor of the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator Sainbuyan Amarsaikhan on Tuesday issued a decree on intensifying efforts to prevent bubonic plague, according to the country's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
"Attempts to bring marmot meat illegally into Ulan Bator have been increasing," the NEMA said in a statement explaining the reason behind the decree.
According to the statement, inspectors and police officers will work around the clock at all checkpoints on the outskirts of the capital city until the end of October.
Officials have seized a total of 23 dead marmots from vehicles heading to the capital city since the beginning of this month, according to the NEMA.
The plague is a bacterial disease that is spread by fleas living on wild rodents such as marmots. An adult can be killed by the disease in less than 24 hours if not treated in time, according to the World Health Organization.
A couple died of bubonic plague in the western Mongolian province of Bayan-Ulgii in late April due to eating raw marmot meat.