Bubonic Plague in Madagascar

In the latest outbreak of bubonic plague in the country, 20 people died from the disease last week in north-western Madagascar. Bubonic plague, caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, is endemic to the island nation, and resulted in 60 fatalities last year alone. The island’s prisoners are especially vulnerable, due to pervasive unsanitary conditions enabling a large rat population in local prisons. However, last week’s outbreak occurred in the relatively remote village of Mandritsara. Health authorities are currently investigating the outbreak.

Plague is spread to humans through infected fleas, often from rats. Bubonic plague is something we’ve written about extensively here on the Pandora Report, usually in a historical context. It’s easy to forgot that for many nations, outbreak of the disease remains a very real fear today.

(image: wikimedia commons)

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