Black Death plague latest: Madagascar struggles to contain harrowing plague outbreak

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
By Paul Martin

MADAGASCANS are reported to be in fear of plague disinfection teams as the country goes through a major clean up to fight the ‘Black Death’.

Tue, Oct 17, 2017

At least 57 people have been killed and more than 600 infected in Madagascar as a plague outbreak spreads.

In a report on France 24, footage shows firefighters killing rats whose fleas carry the plague.

But hygiene is proving a problem in the country due to poverty.

Jacques Razafindraibe, a delegate to a mayor in the capital city Antananarivo, said locals had other priorities on their minds.

He said: “There’s a problem. It’s poverty. We don’t think about cleaning, we think about what we’ll eat today and tomorrow.”

“That is the issue.”

In one factory, four people have contracted the pneumonic plague, the most serious form of the disease.

The report adds many residents have become “afraid” of disinfection teams.

Charles Desire Rajonhson, head of a ‘disinfection’ mobile response team, said: “When people see us wearing the equipment, they run away from us and don’t want to answer us, because we’re the team that’s there to fight the plague.”

At least 57 people have now died from a plague outbreak in the past three months, with the speed and timing of the deadly disease taking health officials by surprise.

Latest figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recorded 684 plague cases in Madagascar since August 1.

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