End of plague epidemic in Madagascar

The World Health Organisation ( WHO) has reported that there have been no new cases of plague in Madagascar‚ since October 28.

In a media statement the UN body said: “New cases and hospitalizations of patients due to plague are declining in Madagascar.”

The plague is spread by fleas and can be deadly if not treated in time with common antibiotics

There have been about 127 deaths in Madagascar and between August and October a total of 1‚801 “confirmed‚ probable and suspected cases of plague” said the WHO.

Some cases were not confirmed as not every patient with suspected plague was tested for confirmation before the person was treated with antibiotics.

No cases of plague have spread outside of the country.

Consultant at the SA National Institute for Communicable Diseases Professor Lucille Blumberg confirmed previously to TImesLIVE that screening was done on travellers leaving the Madagascar airport.

Symptoms of plague can be a cough‚ swollen groin‚ fever or chills.

Blumberg also confirmed that South Africans who didn’t travel to Madagascar were not at risk of the disease.

The WHO said the “last confirmed bubonic case was reported on 24 October and the last confirmed pneumonic case was reported on 28 October. This means the epidemic phase of outbreak is ending‚” it said.

“Since plague is endemic to parts of Madagascar‚ WHO expects more cases to be reported until the end of the typical plague season in April 2018.”

The WHO has cautioned against any restriction on travel to or trade with Madagascar.

“Based on the available information to date‚ the risk of international spread of plague appears very low‚ WHO advises.”

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