Oct. 7 (UPI) — The World Health Organization issued a warning about a worrisome outbreak of plague on the African island of Madagascar that has caused 200 infections and 33 deaths since September.
The outbreak of plague is an annual occurrence in Madagascar, which normally reports about 400 cases per year, usually in the remote island highlands. What makes this outbreak different, according to the WHO, is that many of the infected live in more densely populated towns and the capital Antananarivo. Also, the infections reported are pneumatic plague, which is transmitted by air, making it much more difficult to control.
Pneumatic plague is different from bubonic plague, which is the more common form on Madagascar. Bubonic plague is transmitted when an infected individual is bitten by fleas carried by rats. On Madagascar, the outbreaks are more common in rural rice farming areas and are not as easily transmitted.
Both versions of the …