Marmots are large terrestrial squirrels, a type of rodent that has historically been linked to cases of plague in the area.
Officials at the Republican Department of Agriculture and Food told residents of the border area not to hunt marmots or eat marmalade, and to take precautionary measures against insect bites.
Rodents are the main carrier of plague transmission from animals to humans, but the disease can also be transmitted through flea bites.
The plague killed about 50 million people in Europe during the Black Death pandemic in the Middle Ages, but modern antibiotics can prevent complications and death if given fairly quickly.
The Bubonic plague, which is one of the three forms of plague, causes painful, swollen lymph nodes, as well as fever, chills and coughing.
Mongolia isolated its area near the Russian border last week after laboratory tests showed two cases of plague on plants related to marmot consumption, health officials said on July 1st.
The National Center for Animal Diseases of Mongolia said last week that it had located and tested 146 people who had come in contact with the two infected people.
The center also located 504 people in secondary contact in Khovd province.
Russia’s embassy in Mongolia said there were “no serious concerns” as Mongolian authorities imposed travel restrictions and isolated individuals, according to Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
The embassy also mentioned Sergei Diritsitsu, a spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Mongolia, who reportedly said the province was experiencing seasonal plague epidemics, according to RIA Novosti.
“There are natural plague outbreaks in Mongolia and the disease is spreading like wildfire. [Mongolian marmots]said the embassy.
“The problem is that the residents of the area who, despite all the bans and recommendations of the local authorities, continue to chase them and eat them, as this is a local delicacy.”
Authorities in China’s Inner Mongolia region have also confirmed a plague.
The case in the city of Bayannur, northwest of Beijing, was confirmed on Tuesday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
In 2019, a couple in Mongolia died after eating a raw marmalade kidney, causing a quarantine that left many tourists trapped in the area.
Anyone between 1,000 and 2,000 people suffers from the plague each year, according to the WHO, but this estimate does not represent cases that have not been reported.
CNN’s Jessie Yeung contributed to this report.