Plague in Madagascar kills 124


A plague epidemic in Madagascar killed 124 people since August in an outbreak that has hit the island’s two main cities the hardest, authorities said.

Plague is endemic in Madagascar, but the outbreak that caused 1,192 suspected cases since August is worrying because it started earlier in the season than usual and hit urban rather than rural areas.

Two thirds of the cases are pneumonic plague, the deadliest form of the disease.
“The total number of cases is already three times higher than the average annual total,” the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management said in a report.

Last week a World Health Organisation (WHO) report said the death toll stood at 94.

The capital Antananarivo and Toamasina, the two largest cities in Madagascar were the most affected with 55% of cases recorded there.

To date 54 medical staff have been infected, it said.

The report said of an estimated $9.5 million in aid needed to counter the epidemic, only $3 million has been raised.