Black Death plague latest: WHO confirms HIGH spread risk – Indian Ocean islands on ALERT

Friday, November 10, 2017
By Paul Martin

THE WORLD Health Organisation (WHO) has warned the plague outbreak gripping Madagascar still has a high risk of spreading as the country enters peak epidemic season.

Fri, Nov 10, 2017

his year’s deadly outbreak has claimed more than 140 lives and there have been almost 2,000 reported cases, with more expect over the coming weeks.

Of the 1,947 cases, 1,437 were classified as pneumonic plague, 295 were bubonic plague, one was septicemic, and 211 were not yet classified. Further classification of cases is in process.

The country has just entered peak plague season – between November and April, when the majority of cases in Madagascar’s annual bouts of plague are recorded.

Madagascar generally sees around 400 cases of bubonic plague every year, but two-thirds of this year’s outbreak are classified as pneumonic, a type of plague which spreads more easily.

Health officials have warned that more cases are expected to be recorded.

The WHO website states: “Based on available information and response measures implemented to date, WHO estimates the risk of potential further spread of the plague outbreak at national level remains high.”

Meanwhile, neighbouring islands in the Indian Ocean, which include holiday hotspots like Mauritius and the Seychelles, remain on alert and are prepared for any outbreaks.

The statement continues: “The risk of international spread is mitigated by the short incubation period of pneumonic plague, implementation of exit screening measures and advice to traveller to Madagascar, and scaling up of preparedness and operational readiness activities in neighbouring Indian Ocean islands and other southern and east African countries.

“The overall global risk is considered to be low.

“After concerted efforts by the Ministry of Health and partners, we are now seeing a decline in reported plague cases, in the number of people hospitalised with plague, and in geographic districts reporting new cases.

The Rest…HERE

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