What you need to know about the plague

Black Death plague outbreak

Since the outbreak began in August, almost 1,200 cases of the deadly disease have been reported in the country, according to an October 23 report from the United Nations' humanitarian affairs office and the Malagasy government.

Pneumonic infections can then be spread through the air, while septicaemic plague occurs when infection spreads through the bloodstream.

"If they develop fever, chills, head and body aches, painful and inflamed lymph nodes, or shortness of breath with coughing and/or blood-tainted sputum". This year's outbreak is unusual because for the first time the disease has affected the Indian Ocean island's two biggest cities, Antananarivo and Toamasina. In addition, 1,192 cases of the disease have been registered in the country.

Being geometry deficient, the only thing that I, like most Americans, knew about Madagascar was that it is Africa adjacent (it is an island off the coast of Mozambique), and that it had an animated movie named for it.

Last week, according to the report of the world health organization, the number of victims amounted to 94 people.

Plague isn't exactly a rare thing in Madagascar, with hundreds of cases of the infection popping up on a yearly basis, but what makes this particular outbreak so devastating is that it's spread more rapidly and much farther than it typically does.

The deadly plague has a high mortality rate with 30-100% of death within 72 hours if not treated.




Yes. All forms of the plague are treatable with antibiotics if diagnosed early enough.

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, a zoonotic bacteria, usually found in small mammals and their fleas. If left untreated, the plague can kill within one to three days. Bubonic plague can advance and spread to the lungs, which is the more severe type of plague called pneumonic plague.

How did the epidemic start?

Madagascar has suffered plague outbreaks nearly every year since 1980 - typically between September and April - and are often sparked by rats fleeing forest fires.

The Guardian reported that the first case was a 31-year-old man visited Madagascar who fell ill with what appeared to be Malaria symptoms.

The WHO has reportedly delivered 1.2 million doses of antibiotics to the country.

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