194 suspected cases of plague, including 30 deaths in all Madagascar have been recorded since August according to department official, Dr. Manitra Rakotoarivony, told AFP.
The plague is recurrent on the island, where a few hundred annual cases are recorded. While the plague season usually begins in September, it began in early August and has spread to “large urban areas, unlike previous epidemics”, according to the World Health Organization. (WHO).
Nine dead in Antananarivo
Nine deaths were recorded in the capital and its surroundings thus have nine deaths. A spread that caused a panic in the population, which rushed to pharmacies to buy protective masks and antibiotics.
Emergency measures have been adopted by the Malagasy government to stem the spread of the epidemic. In particular, the banning off all public rallies on the streets of Antananarivo until further notice and set up controls at the capital’s airport.
“When there are cases of plague, both bubonic and pulmonary, in all the districts of Madagascar, there is immediate backfire,” Minister of Health Mamy Lalatiana Andriamanarivo told reporters on Tuesday.
The plague in the form of pneumonia
“What we hear in the city is that the plague is as if it were the end of the world,” regretted at the same press conference Dr. Charlotte Ndiaye, WHO. “We just want to say that it is a disease like any other (and that) we are lucky that this disease has a treatment, this treatment is available and it is free,” she continued to reassure the population.
Developed in rats and then transported by fleas, the plague bacteria can be fulminant in its pneumonic form – transmissible by coughing – by killing its host in only 24 to 72 hours. Its bubonic form is treated, if treated in time, with antibiotics.
Provided by: Jeune Afrique