Plague: Global cases down significantly, Madagascar accounts for majority

By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Plague is not just a disease of historical record, it’s presence around the world still exists. However, the good news is in recent years, the number of global plague cases has dropped significantly as compared to a decade or so before.

Soon the proventriculus, or esophagogastric junction will become blocked with a bacterial mass preventing the flea from swallowing food.

Dr Terence Lam with the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) put together the numbers and I will present some of them here:

  • Globally, the total number of human plague cases reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1999 to 2008 was on average 2,334 cases annually.
  • In 2018, the total number of cases worldwide decreased about tenfold to 243 cases.
  • From 2013 to 2018, a total of 2,886 cases were reported worldwide to WHO and the top five countries were: Madagascar (2,323 cases; 80%), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (410 cases; 14%), Peru (40 cases; 1%), the United States of America (USA) (40 cases; 1%) and United Republic of Tanzania (36 cases; 1%)3. Other countries with small number of cases detected in the period included Uganda (22 cases), Mainland China (5 cases), Mongolia (5 cases), Bolivia (3 cases), Kyrgyzstan (1 case) and Russian Federation (1 case).
  • Among all the strains isolated, all remained susceptible to antimicrobial agents.

Plague is a communicable disease that affects rodents (including rats), some animals and humans. It is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, which is transmitted from an infected animal (mainly rodent) to humans through the bite of infected animal’s fleas. Besides, people can also contract plague when cuts or other breaks in their skin come into contact with the body fluid or tissues of infected animals, or through inhalation of respiratory droplets from infected patients.There are three main forms of plague infection: bubonic, pneumonic and septicemic. Plague patients should be isolated and treated with appropriate antibiotics.

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