Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA'S RAMAPHOSA HAILS 'NEW DAWN' IN STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A controversial Chinese New Year

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New Beginning? Ramaphosa Replaces Zuma in South Africa

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

On the green slopes: An eco-friendly revolution in French ski resorts?

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Élysée palace, France's presidential powerhouse

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is the aviation industry free-riding on climate change efforts?

Read more

FOCUS

The revival of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Girls in Malawi victims of 'sexual cleansing' ritual

Read more

REVISITED

Video: How the 2014 Winter Olympics transformed Sochi

Read more

Africa

Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar

© CDC, AFP | A file photo of the bubonic plague bacteria taken in 2003

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-11-22

An outbreak of the plague has killed 40 people in Madagascar since late August, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, warning that there is a risk of the disease spreading rapidly in the country’s capital, Antananarivo.

The first known victim, a man from Soamahatamana village in the district of Tsiroanomandidy, was identified on August 31. He later died on September 3, and authorities notified the WHO of the outbreak on November 4, the agency said.

There are now 119 confirmed cases of the plague in the country.

So far, there have been two cases and one death recorded in Antananarivo, but those figures could climb quickly due to “the city’s high population density and the weakness of the healthcare system”, the WHO warned.

“The situation is further complicated by the high level of resistance to deltamethrin (an insecticide used to control fleas) that has been observed in the country,” it added.

Plague, a bacterial disease, is mainly spread from one rodent to another by fleas. Humans bitten by an infected flea usually develop a bubonic form of plague, which swells the lymph nodes and can be treated with antibiotics, the WHO said.

If the bacteria reach the lungs, the patient develops pneumonia (pneumonic plague), which is transmissible from person to person through infected droplets spread by coughing. It is “one of the most deadly infectious diseases” and can kill people within 24 hours.

Two percent of the cases reported in Madagascar so far have been pneumonic, the organization added.

The WHO said it did not recommend any trade or travel restrictions based on the information available about the outbreak.

The last previously known outbreak of the plague was in Peru in August 2010, according to the WHO.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-11-22

  • MADAGASCAR

    In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • MADAGASCAR

    Coup leader Rajoelina rules out seeking Madagascar PM role

    Read more

  • MADAGASCAR

    Rajaonarimampianina declared president-elect of Madagascar

    Read more

COMMENT(S)