Over 40 people have already died in a plague outbreak on Madagascar and the UN World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a “rapid” spread of the bacterial disease carried by rats in the capital Antananarivo.
The death toll of the bubonic plague outbreak in Madagascar has risen to 47, Secretary-General of the Health Ministry of the island state Philemon Tafangy said on Tuesday, while the number of suspected plague cases reached 138.
The first reported case on the island was a man from the village of Soamahatamana on August 31. He later died on September 3.
On November 4, the Health Ministry notified the WHO of a plague outbreak. Since then, plague cases have been reported in 16 Madagascan regions – two percent of which are the pneumonic form.
There have also been two cases, including one death, in the country's capital of Antananarivo, where the disease is rapidly spreading. “There is now a risk of a rapid spread of the disease, due to the city’s high population density and the weakness of the healthcare system,” according to a WHO press release.