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Plague in Madagascar

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          As of now people in Madagascar are struggling to keep this plague under control. 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 buboes, as well as fever, chills and coughing. So far this plague has killed over 20 people and this plague is rapidly spreading.

          In late August, 114 people were claimed to have been infected by this outbreak, and it seems that this isn’t the end of this outrageous plague. CNN has now confirmed that this plague has now caused 57 deaths and over 680 people were infected with this disease. Not many were surprised by this because this country experiences regular outbreaks, with an estimated 400 cases of plague each year. According to Cnn, this year, health officials report the infections started much earlier than usual, and they’re occurring in new areas, including urban settings meaning this disease is spreading and there is very little time to stop it from spreading as rapidly as it is. The health officials have also seen a huge increase of cases of pneumonic plague, which is easier to catch from other people. Pneumonic plague is more damaging and is an advanced form characterized by a severe lung infection. The infection can be transmitted from person to person by coughing or sneezing.

          The infection period is short, and an infected person may die within 12 to 24 hours.On October 12, 474 people out of 684 reported to have pneumonic plague, 156 bubonic and 1 septicemic plague. The rest of the people were reported as unspecified, according to WHO. To reduce the number of infected people all public places are closed, including schools and gatherings that  they use to have on a regular basis. Together Red Cross and WHO have donated millions of dollars and supplies to help with the plague and to get these people the medicine that they need. Usually people who are infected don’t travel due to their sickness, so the disease should not spread any farther than it already has.

 

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