from MARIO RAJOMAZANDRY in Antananarivo, Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, (CAJ News) – EIGHT people have died from an outbreak of pneumonic plague in Madagascar.
This is the worst eruption of the disease in four years.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed the deaths – four males and four females – from 22 cases.
This indicates a fatality of 37 percent.
Affected individuals are aged between the ages of three and 74 years.
Cases are geographically located in the regions of Haute Matsiatra and Itasy.
Both regions are known plague endemic areas, and were highly affected during the 2017 outbreak, although Ambalavao was the main epicentre.
All the cases in the current outbreak presented symptoms such as fever, headache, weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain and cough.
Plague is endemic in Madagascar.
Between 200 and 400 cases are reported each year in bubonic and pneumonic forms.
Transmission of the disease generally lasts from September to April.
Pneumonic plague is very severe and almost always fatal if it is not treated promptly.
It develops either by inhaling respiratory droplets from an infected person or as a result of untreated bubonic plague after the bacteria have spread to the lungs.
The Indian Ocean island country is also battling the COVID-19 and the worst drought in 40 years.
It had recorded 42 898 cases, including 958 deaths from the pandemic at the time of publication.
– CAJ News