20 people die from bubonic plague so far
The outbreak of bubonic plague has been confirmed in a Madagascan village after at least 20 people died in a week.
The deaths occurred in a village near the north-western town of Mandritsara, and today medical experts on the island confirmed the outbreak.
Last year, 60 people in Madagascar died from bubonic plague, more than in any other country in the world.
While the disease has been almost entirely eradicated from Europe, there were 256 cases of bubonic plague recorded in Madagascar last year.
Public Health officials had warned of the risk of an outbreak in October – the month is the start of the danger period for the disease as fleas which spread the plague thrive in the humid weather.
The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Pasteur Institute are now working in the country to prevent bubonic plague from becoming even more common, according to the BBC.
Experts are particularly concerned about the prospect of an epidemic started in Madagascar’s crowded and filthy prisons and then spreading when inmates are released or receive visitors.
Rats living in the prisons often carry fleas which transmit bubonic plague to humans by biting them.
The disease can then escape to the outside world via staff, visitors, freed inmates or the rats themselves.
‘If the plague gets into prisons there could be a sort of atomic explosion of plague within the town,’ Christophe Rogier of the Pasteur Institute told the BBC.
‘The prison walls will never prevent the plague from getting out and invading the rest of the town.’ TruNews