In an update on the plague outbreak in Madagascar, the number of cases of the lethal bacterial infection has shot up to 449, an increase in 62 cases since our last report yesterday, according to the Ministere de la Publique (computer translated)..
In addition, the death count has grown to 48.
A breakdown of the types of plague reported is as follows: Pneumonic or pulmonary plague (322), bubonic (123) and septicemic (1). Three other cases are classified as suspect as of today.
In the capital city of Antananarivo, 239 cases and 21 deaths have been reported. 82 percent of cases in the city and surrounding suburbs are pneumonic plague. In Toamasina, 147 plague cases have been reported,including 9 deaths recorded in the city.
Pneumonic plague is probably the most serious form of plague–it’s when the bacteria infect the lungs and cause pneumonia. It is contracted when the bacteria is inhaled (primary) or develops when bubonic or septicemic plague spreads to the lungs.
Pneumonic plague is contagious and can be transmitted person to person. It is highly communicable under appropriate climate conditions, overcrowding and cool temperatures. Untreated pneumonic plague is frequently fatal.
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