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21 November 2014 - On 4 November 2014, WHO was notified by the Ministry of Health of Madagascar of an outbreak of plague. The first case, a male from Soamahatamana village in the district of Tsiroanomandidy, was identified on 31 August. The patient died on 3 September. As of 16 November, a total of 119 cases of plague have been confirmed, including 40 deaths. Only 2% of reported cases are of the pneumonic form. Cases have been reported in 16 districts of seven regions. Antananarivo, the capital and largest city in Madagascar, has also been affected with 2 recorded cases of plague, including 1 death. There is now a risk of a rapid spread of the disease due to the city’s high population density and the weakness of the healthcare system. 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.
At least 40 people have died out of 119 confirmed cases of an outbreak of the plague in Madagascar, raising fears the disease is spreading rapidly in the nation's capital, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed. .......
An outbreak of plague in November, 2013, occurred in the African island nation of Madagascar. As of 16 December, at least 89 people were infected, with 39 deaths with at least two cases involving pneumonic plague- however, it was reported later that as many as 90% of cases involved pneumonic plague. The World Health Organisation and Institut Pasteur were both involved in administering antibiotic compounds and attempting to stop the spread of the disease, through closing all sea and airports at first instance of infection.
Pneumonic plague is a very aggressive infection requiring early treatment. Antibiotics must be given within 24 hours of first symptoms to reduce the risk of death. Streptomycin, gentamicin, tetracyclines and chloramphenicol are all effective against pneumonic plague.
Antibiotic treatment for 7 days will protect people who have had direct, close contact with infected patients. Wearing a close-fitting surgical mask also protects against infection.