Madagascar health officials have reported 46 human plague cases since Aug. 1. Of this total, 14 have died.


Bubonic plague accounts for 36 of the total cases, including five fatalities. The remaining 10 cases were pneumonic plague. Nine pneumonic plague cases died from their illness.

Confirmed cases of plague have been reported from the following districts: Tsiroanomandidy, Ambalavao, Befotaka, Manandriana, Ambatofinandrahana, Midongy Atsimo, Anjozorobe, Ankazobe, Miarinarivo, Ambositra, Moramanga, Betafo and Faratsiho.

Bubonic plague is the most common form. In this form, the bacteria enter the body through the bite of an infected flea or rodent. Here the bacteria infect the lymphatic system. After a few days to week, the person will experience fever, chills, weakness, and swollen lymph glands. These are called buboes.

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Untreated bubonic plague is fatal about half the time.

Probably the most serious form of plague is pneumonic 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.