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Total of 40 people die of plague in Madagascar since August — WHO

November 21, 2014, 21:48 UTC+3 GENEVA
The World Health Organization blamed the country's weak healthcare system for the situation saying the disease could spread farther
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A homeless child in Madagascar

A homeless child in Madagascar

©  EPA/Kabir Dhanji

GENEVA, November 21. /TASS/. Outbreak of plague in Madagascar has claimed the lives of 40 people since August and the overall number of cases confirmed in the insular nation is 119, the World Health Organization said in a report on Friday.

It blamed the country's weak healthcare system for the situation, saying the disease could spread farther.

Plague was caused Yersinia pestis strain of bacteria and transported by fleas.

WHO report expressed concern about the situation in the capital Antananarivo, which is the country's largest city.

“There is now a risk of a rapid spread of the disease due to the city’s high population density and the weakness of the healthcare system. The situation is further complicated by the high level of resistance to deltamethrin /an insecticide for eliminating fleas/ that has been observed in the country," WHO said.

It also said that although most cases were bubonic plagues, which is cured with antibiotics efficaciously enough, but 2% of all cases in Madagascar were pneumonic plague that affected the respiratory organs, could spread from one human to another and had a capability for killing the infected person within twenty-four hours.

At this moment, the WHO recommends foreign tourists to refrain from trips to Madagascar.

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