Thirty cases of pneumonic plague have been reported in Madagascar, according to the latest communicable disease threats report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The cases, 12 of which have been confirmed, were reported on 29 August by health authorities in the Arivonimamo district in the Itasy region of Madagascar. Seven cases have been fatal, all of them in the municipality of Miandrandra.
According to media reports, the first case was in a patient who died in the week starting 23 August and a second person in the same family died a week later. Active case finding and preventive drugs for high-risk contacts are ongoing.
Plague, which is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and is mainly transmitted to humans through bites of infected fleas, is endemic in Madagascar. The country's last major plague outbreak, in 2017, resulted in 2,417 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases and 209 deaths: 79% of those cases were classified as pneumonic plague.
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