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article imageMadagascar plague kills 40 since August

By Amanda Byas     Nov 22, 2014 in Health
A plague outbreak in Madagascar has killed 40 people on the island, with 119 more people diagnosed with the bacterial disease since early August.
Two people have been diagnosed and one has died in Antananarivo, the island’s capital. The World Health Organization worries that the outbreak may spread quickly throughout Madagascar’s largely populated city, deteriorated by the country’s poor health care system.
The World Health Organization said a national task force is being set up to help manage the outbreak, with the cost of this project nearing $200,000. The international health organization is working alongside the Red Cross and Madagascan health officials to try and contain the disease.
The disease is carried by fleas and rodents. Humans are infected with it when they are bitten by fleas, causing swelling of the lymph nodes and sometimes cause pneumonia.
According to the World Health Organization, fighting the disease has been more difficult by its high level of resistance to insecticide to kill the fleas. When caught early, antibiotics have been effective in curing the disease.
The bubonic version of the disease, which causes swollen lymph nodes, can be treated with antibiotics. The deadliest form, pneumonic version, which attacks the lungs, can kill patients in 24 hours, stated health officials. Pneumonic plague can be easily spread by coughing, but only two percent of cases registered in Madagascar have been from this extremely infectious form of the disease.
The first case reported of the outbreak was in a village about two hours away from Antananarivo. The man was diagnosed on August 31st and died a few days later, according to the World Health Organization. Since his death 16 other villages have reported cases of the disease.
The disease is known for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages, according to the CDC. Even though, the plague still occurs throughout the world, but mainly in Africa and Asia.
More about Madagascar, Bubonic plague, Plague, Pneumonia, pneumonic
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