Plague holiday warning: Mauritius and Seychelles on watch list as Black Death spreads…”this is just the start of the outbreak.”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
By Paul Martin

AFRICA is on the brink of a major plague outbreak, as 1,300 cases spreading across the continent have been reported. Mauritius and the Seychelles, both popular holiday destinations for Britons, are close to Madagascar, where the plague started.

Wed, Nov 1, 2017

Madagascar is worst affected, with health chiefs revealing more than 1,300 cases have now been reported in the area.

World Health Organisation figures show two thirds of those with the plague are suspected to be pneumonic, which is described as the “deadliest and most rapid form of plague”.

Pneumonic plague can spread through coughing, and can kill within 24 hours. Madagascar sees regular outbreaks of the disease, but this current outbreak has caused alarm due to the speed with which it has spread and a high number of fatalities.

Where is the plague?

In the wake of the outbreak, the FCO have updated their travel advice for the Seychelles.

They say: “There is currently an outbreak of pneumonic and bubonic plague in Madagascar. Direct flights from Madagascar to Seychelles are suspended until further notice.

“The Ministry of Health in Seychelles is currently imposing a six day quarantine on all individuals arriving from Madagascar. You should contact your flight operator or travel agent if you intend to travel this route.”

Travel advice for Madacasgar

Issuing travel advice for Madagascar, the FCO wrote: “There is currently an outbreak of pneumonic and bubonic plague in Madagascar; outbreaks of plague tend to be seasonal and occur mainly during the rainy season, with around 500 cases reported annually; whilst outbreaks are not uncommon in rural areas, the latest outbreak has seen an increase in reported cases in urban areas, including Antananarivo.”

A WHO official told MailOnline: “The risk of the disease spreading is high at national level… because it is present in several towns and this is just the start of the outbreak.”

Travel Health Pro, the portal travellers are advised to look at by the FCO, advises the number of new cases of pulmonary plague is currently declining.

Travel Health Pro said: “As of 29 October 2017, the number of new cases of pulmonary plague is declining in all active areas across the country.

“From 1 August to 27 October 2017, a total of 1,554 suspected cases of plague, (113 deaths), were reported in 28 districts. Of these, 985 (63 per cent) were clinically classified as pulmonary plague, 230 (15 per cent) were bubonic plague, 1 was septicaemic, and 338 were unspecified. Of the 985 clinical cases of pneumonic plague, 25 per cent were confirmed.”

The FCO have not yet changed their advice for Mauritius.

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