Pneumonic Plague is stalking Madagascar with 33 deaths since August
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The deadly pneumonic plague is stalking several cities in Madagascar, far from the usual areas where the plague usually hits in the central highlands of this nation. Not surprisingly, authorities in Madagascar and the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) are extremely concerned. In total, it is known that 33 people have perished because of the ravages of the plague since August after approximately 200 infections.
Annually, the plague hits Madagascar in the ninth month of the year and lasts until April. Yet, it is usually the rice-growing region of the central highlands that is hit. Hence, the government is prepared for roughly 400 cases each year. However, this time it is the pneumonic plague that is spreading to several cities.
Unlike the plague that blights Madagascar annually based on fleas spreading this deadly virus via rats – the pneumonic plague contaminates others after coughing transmits this deadly virus. Therefore, the government and officials working for the W.H.O. are fearful that the pneumonic plague will contaminate more people in cities, thereby, increasing the possibility of more deaths unless the crisis can be contained.
The New York Times reports, “Pneumonic plague kills even faster than the better-known bubonic form, which is transmitted by flea bites and gets its name from the infected lymph nodes that form large, swollen “buboes” in the groin, armpits and neck.”
Despite the pneumonic plague being extremely deadly, antibiotics in most cases actually can cure it. Hence, the W.H.O. is increasing its shipments of antibiotics to Madagascar in order to stem the current crisis. Therefore, it is hoped that donors will support the W.H.O. to the maximum in order to prevent the death toll from increasing further.
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