Tags: Health Topics | madagascar | plague | who

Experts Fear Mounting Airborne Plague Off Africa's Coast Could Spread Worldwide

Image: Experts Fear Mounting Airborne Plague Off Africa's Coast Could Spread Worldwide
Red Cross volunteers talk to villagers about the plague outbreak, 30 miles west of Antananarivo, Madagascar, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. (Alexander Joe/AP)

By    |   Friday, 03 November 2017 05:32 PM

A deadly airborne plague that's been compared to the Black Death is spreading across Madagascar and is at a "crisis" point, reports say.

The worst outbreak in 50 years is in the country off the coast of Africa is being fueled by a strain more lethal than the one that usually strikes, the Daily Mail reported.

The World Health Organization said Thursday there were 1,801 suspected cases — a significant jump from the week prior total of 1,309, the Daily Mail reported.

CNN reported Friday 133 people had died since the epidemic began in August.

Statistics suggest the plague could affect another 20,000 people in a matter of weeks if current trends continue, the Daily Mail reported.

The outbreak has prompted warnings in nine nearby countries — South Africa, Seychelles, La Reunion, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Comoros and Mauritius, the Daily Mail reported.

Mauritius and the Seychelles are both holiday destination spots for the United Kingdom, the Express reported.

Two-thirds of this year's cases have been caused by the airborne pneumonic plague, and spreads through coughing, sneezing or spitting, the reports say.

A Doctors without Borders spokesman told the Express that last year, 63 people died over the course of the year, out of 275 cases.

"This time it's different because it's occurring earlier, and faster," the spokesman said.

The outbreak has been compared with the Black Death, when plague swept across Europe and Asia in the 14th century, killing 100 million people, the Daily Mail reported.

The Bubonic plague, which is transmitted by flea bites, was responsible for the Black Death. If left untreated, the Yersinia pestis bacteria can reach the lungs, where it turns pneumonic — described as the "deadliest and most rapid form of plague," the Daily Mail reported.

While most cases are recorded in Madagascar occur in remote areas, this outbreak has also hit major urban centers, including the capital Antananarivo and the port city of Tamatave, allowing it to spread, the Express reported.

Dr. Charlotte Ndiaye, a WHO representative in Madagascar, told CNN the agency is working closely with airport authorities to ensure that sanitary measures such as temperature checks and medical teams are in place at airports and ports to prevent the spread of infection outside the country. The group is also working closely with neighboring countries.

The WHO has not advised travel or trade restrictions, but Air Seychelles, one of Madagascar's biggest airlines, stopped flying temporarily earlier in the month to try and curb the spread, the Daily Mail reported.

© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
A deadly airborne plague that's been compared to the Black Death is spreading across Madagascar and is at a "crisis" point, reports say.
madagascar, plague, who
416
2017-32-03
Friday, 03 November 2017 05:32 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved