Published: Thu, October 26, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Death toll in Madagascar plague outbreak climbs to 124

The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Ukraine recommends Ukrainians to refrain from trips to Madagascar an outbreak of plague.

At least 124 people have now been killed in a plague epidemic in Madagascar since August, the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management said Wednesday.

There are three major types of plague: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic. Untreated pneumonic plague, if not diagnosed and treated early, can be fatal.

Its symptoms are flu-like - fever, chills, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin, neck or armpits.

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.

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

"Most of the cases in the past have been of the bubonic plague but if you look at this particular outbreak, 70 percent of the cases are pneumonic plague, which is the most deadly form of the disease".

The virus can be transmitted between animals and humans by the bite of infected fleas or the inhalation of infected respiratory droplets. This could happen from flea bites or if the bacteria enter through a cut on a person's skin.

"Some of the neighbouring countries, namely Comoros, Mauritius and South Africa, have put in place measures to protect their population, including entry screening, information provision to passengers on how to seek medical care in case of symptoms, and other preparedness measures", the report stated. Reuters reports that a report from the World Health Organization said the death toll was at 94 just last week.

Two-thirds of the infected are a deadly form of the disease.

The report also said that only $3 million has been raised to counter the epidemic - less a third of the necessary $9.5 million, according to Reuters.

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