The bubonic plague, aka black death, isn’t just a thing of the middle ages in Europe, it has resurged on the island of Madagascar, and 9 other countries have been warned to prepare for it.
The island of 24 million has had 124 people die already from the disease that decimated Europe in the mid 14th century and killed about 1/3 of the population in a 3 year span.
Since August, more than 1,192 people have been infected with the plague, and 124 have died, reported CNN.
2/3 of the cases are the pneumonic form of the disease, which can spread from person to person.
Plague is caused by infection with the bacterium Yersinia pestis and is typically spread through the bite of infected fleas, frequently carried by rats, causing bubonic plague. Symptoms include painful, swollen lymph nodes, called bubos, as well as fever, chills and coughing.
Pneumonic plague is more virulent or damaging and is an advanced form characterized by a severe lung infection that can be transmitted from person to person via airborne droplets such as through coughing or sneezing, for example. The incubation period is short, and an infected person may die within 12 to 24 hours.
Since the outbreak began in August, 780 people have been cured of their infection using antibiotics. This is an effective treatment if caught early enough.
Public schools are now closed in Madagascar, and the government has banned public gatherings.
In an attempt to stop the spread of the deadly disease, The World Health Organization has provided the medications to treat up to 5,000 people and protect 100,000 people who may have been in contact with infected individuals.
While the disease has so far been contained in Madagascar, South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, La Réunion, Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia and Comoros have all been put on notice, reported Express.
(Article By James Carter)