Tsiresena MANJAKAHERY – January 26, 2018
Most inhabitants of Madagascar thought the plague was a footnote of medical history until the disease dramatically returned last year, slaying more than 200 people.
In the “Black Death” pandemic that swept through Europe in the 14th century, as much as a third of the population were wiped out by the plague.
Today, thanks to diagnostic tests, tried-and-trusted containment procedures, simple rules of hygiene and an arsenal of antibiotics, the disease is no longer a mass killer.
Even so, it remains an endemic threat in a number of African countries that are among the poorest on the planet, including Madagascar.
The bacteria that causes the plague, Yersinia pestis, is transported by rats and transmitted to human beings by their fleas.
Rachel O’Donoghue – November 26, 2017
THE PLAGUE outbreak that has gripped Madagascar must be brought under control amid fears of a fourth pandemic, a top scientist has warned.
Epidemiology expert Professor Allen Cheng said it is crucial to stop the spread amid claims the disease has reached “crisis point” with over five months to go until the end of plague season.
The medieval disease has swept through Madagascar, infecting thousands of people and killing hundreds in the worst outbreak of the Black Death in 50 years.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) described the outbreak as “uncharacteristic” and drastic measures have been put in place to stop it spreading.
This has included closing schools and sending supplies and medical officials to affected regions.
Alex Thomas – November 18, 2017
Patients in Madagascar who are currently suffering from the plague have “escaped” multiple hospitals in the area over fears of needles and hospital treatment as a whole, according to a shocking report in The Sun newspaper.
Security guards with at least one hospital have been tasked with forcefully keeping black death patients in the hospital as well as following the strict safety procedures set up in an attempt to quell the outbreak.
The Sun reported:
Officials at the hospital say the main reason why patients run away is that they are scared of needles and don’t have much experience of hospitals.
Jean Benoit Manhes, the deputy representative of Unicef, told the Irish Times: “Some escaped because they’re afraid of needles. People here are not used to the hospital.
“The problem of plague is not just a medical response. You can have hospitals but if people don’t come it isn’t enough.”
Mac Slavo – November 14, 2017
The death toll in Madagascar due to the plague has jumped for the first time since health officials claimed the infection was in the beginning stages of control. With the new uptick in those who died, the fear that the disease will spread to the United Kingdom has been confirmed as “100 percent likely.”
The plague death toll has now shown signs that it’s picking up speed again. Official figures reveal 165 people have now lost their lives in Madagascar’s “worst outbreak in 50 years.” Recent data shows a 15 percent jump in fatalities over just three days, coupled with scientists concerned that the black death has reached a “crisis” point. Ten other African countries have also been placed on high alert, warning that an outbreak could occur at any time.
At least 2,034 people have been infected down by a more lethal form of the black death so far in the country, which lies off the coast of Africa, according to WHO statistics. Some experts fear the disease (which is so deadly because it is airborne) could mutate and become untreatable during this year’s outbreak – which is expected to blight Madagascar until April. Others worry the plague will go beyond mainland Africa and eventually reach the US, Europe, and Britain.
George Mills – November 15, 2017
DOCTORS are struggling to keep a new lethal outbreak of the “Black Death” – also known as pneumonic plague – under control as numbers of recorded cases soar.
The disease has already killed more than 165 people in Madagascar alone, with thousands more confirmed cases across the east African country.
Malawi became the 10th neighbouring nation to be placed on high alert following the deadly outbreak of the disease which wiped out a third of the medieval population.
Madagascar’s health authorities have installed medical checkpoints across the parts of the capital city of Antananarivo in an attempt to curb the spread of the plague.
A local news crew following one health worker in the stricken city heard doctors informing residents that the new strain of the disease “can kill in three hours”.
Henry Holloway – November 10, 2017
Madagascar remains ravaged by the pneumonic plague that is believed to have killed more than 143 people across the African island.
Cases have risen by 8% in just one week and scientists frantically working to make sure the airborne infection doesn’t spread to mainland Africa.
Aid workers on the ground have now revealed their battle with the plague.
They spoke out about how some families are refusing to hand over infected bodies, and other victims are refusing to go to the doctor.
Nine countries are now on high alert amid fears the plague could go global.
Pneumonic plague – a relative of the Black Death – can kill in as little as 24 hours and there have been nearly 2,000 cases reported in Madagascar.
Danny Collins – November 2, 2017
MADAGASCAR’S deadly Black Death outbreak could last another SIX MONTHS – with officials warning the oncoming rainy season could see the epidemic explode.
At least 128 people have been killed and more than 1,300 infected by the deadly pneumonic strain of the medieval disease.
And while health officials have seen a slight dip in victims, they warned it could explode at any point between now and April.
Tarik Jašarević of the World Health Organisation told The Sun: “We cannot say with certainty that the epidemic has subsided.
“We are about three months into the epidemic season, which goes on until April 2018.
“Even if the recent declining trend is confirmed, we cannot rule out the possibility of further spikes in transmission between now and April 2018.
“The proportion of pneumonic plague – the form which can be transmitted from person to person – is much higher than in the past.”
Mac Slavo – October 23, 2017
Travelers are being warned to keep their distance from areas of Madagascar affected by the bubonic plague. As the outbreak worsens, some doctors are even warning that “no one is safe” from the disease.
The outbreak of the black plague in Madagascar has so far killed 97 people, and doctors are warning that it will be continuing to spread and worsen, meaning no one is safe. Health officials say the disease, which contributed to the deaths of more than 50 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages, has spread from rural areas to the more urban areas not usually affected. Hundreds of cases are reported on the tropical island every year, but experts are warning the epidemic is “much more dangerous” than in previous years.
Officials have reported infections in 17 of the island nation’s 22 regions since the outbreak started in August. And the number of cases is growing by the day, said Elhadj As Sy, the secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as the nation put all hospitals on high alert. The hospitals have also begun implementing preventative measures with attempts to stall the spread of the bacterial infection.
Cécile Barbière – June 27, 2016
The El Niño phenomenon has compounded the woes of drought-stricken southern Madagascar, where 80% of the rural population is suffering from food insecurity. EurActiv France reports.
It has not rained in Tsihombe since January, Reho Ziry remembered as we crossed the bridge over the dry bed of the Mananbovo river. Since then, the sun has baked the arid land in this district of the southern Madagascar’s Androy region, drying out watercourses and crops.