Plague outbreak kills two in Madagascar

September 18, 2018

Credit: CC0 Public Domain
An outbreak of plague in Madagascar has killed two people, a health official said on Tuesday, marking the official start of the season when the disease is considered to be at its deadliest.

Last year more than 200 people were killed before epidemics of bubonic and were brought under control in November.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that this year's strain could be even more virulent.

"According to counts undertaken between August 1 and September 13, we recorded eight suspected plague cases, six of whom recovered and two died in their villages," said health ministry official Manitra Rakotoarivony.

The first fatality was recorded in Fiadanana, north of the capital Antananarivo, while the second was reported in Ambalavao in the Indian Ocean island's interior, added Rakotoarivony.

Madagascar has suffered outbreaks almost every year since 1980, often caused by rats fleeing forest fires.

The disease tends to make a comeback each hot rainy season, from September to April.

On average, between 300 and 600 infections are recorded every year among a population approaching 25 million people, according to a UN estimate.

Last year cases sprang up far earlier than usual and, instead of being confined to the countryside, the disease infiltrated towns. The authorities recorded more than 2,000 cases.

The plague germ Yersinia pestis is typically transmitted to humans from infected rats via fleas. It can also be transmitted from human to human through cough droplets expelled by a person with a pneumonic form of the disease.

Pneumonic can prove fatal between 24 to 72 hours while the bubonic form is less dangerous.

Explore further: Next plague outbreak in Madagascar could be 'stronger': WHO

Related Stories

Next plague outbreak in Madagascar could be 'stronger': WHO

February 7, 2018
The World Health Organization chief Wednesday said a deadly plague epidemic appeared to have been brought under control in Madagascar, but warned the next outbreak would likely be stronger.

Madagascar plague death toll climbs to 30

October 4, 2017
An outbreak of high contagious plague has claimed 30 lives in the impoverished Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar over the last two months, authorities said Wednesday.

Madagascar plague death toll climbs to 124

October 24, 2017
The death toll from Madagascar's plague outbreak has reached 124, officials said Tuesday, as they cautiously welcomed a slowdown in infections.

Madagascar plague deaths hit 94, 1,100 suspected cases: WHO

October 20, 2017
The death toll from a plague outbreak in Madagascar has risen to 94, with the number of suspected cases jumping to more than 1,100, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Madagascar plague death toll climbs to 74

October 18, 2017
An outbreak of highly contagious plague has claimed 74 lives in Madagascar over the past two months with the capital particularly affected, according to a new official toll published Tuesday.

Bubonic plague claims 32 lives in Madagascar (Update)

December 20, 2013
Bubonic plague, which wiped out a third of Europe's population in the Middle Ages, has reared its ugly head in the African island state of Madagascar where 32 people have died in a fresh outbreak of the so-called Black Death ...

Recommended for you

Discovery of novel mechanisms that cause migraines

December 17, 2018
Researchers at CNRS, Université Côte d'Azur and Inserm have demonstrated a new mechanism related to the onset of migraine. They found how a mutation that causes dysfunction in a protein which inhibits neuronal electrical ...

Small-scale poultry farming could mean big problem in developing countries

December 16, 2018
Small-scale farming in developing countries provides those in rural communities with income and access to protein, but it may have a large impact on antibiotic resistance, according to a new University of Michigan study.

RNA processing and antiviral immunity

December 14, 2018
The RIG-I like receptors (RLRs) are intracellular enzyme sentries that detect viral infection and initiate a first line of antiviral defense. The cellular molecules that activate RLRs in vivo are not clear.

Faster test for Ebola shows promising results in field trials

December 13, 2018
A team of researchers with members from the U.S., Senegal and Guinea, in cooperation with Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD), has developed a faster test for the Ebola virus than those currently in use. In their paper published ...

Urbanisation and air travel leading to growing risk of pandemic

December 13, 2018
Increased arrivals by air and urbanisation are the two main factors leading to a growing vulnerability to pandemics in our cities, a University of Sydney research team has found.

Drug targets for Ebola, Dengue, and Zika viruses found in lab study

December 13, 2018
No drugs are currently available to treat Ebola, Dengue, or Zika viruses, which infect millions of people every year and result in severe illness, birth defects, and even death. New research from the Gladstone Institutes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.