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An outbreak of the plague is currently killing victims on the island nation of Madagascar, leading the World Health Organization to warn nine countries about the risk of traveling to the country off the east African coast.
Believe it or not, it is not unusual to see plague outbreaks on Madagascar. ABC News reported that the island has about 400 plague cases per year.
Type - Plague - Residents - Madagascar - Plague
However, what is unusual is the type of plague being reported. Typically, residents of Madagascar catch the bubonic plague, which is spread by rats. This form of the disease is generally treatable if caught in time.
This year, authorities are seeing a rise in the cases of pneumonic plague, which is airborne and can spread through sneezing, coughing and spitting. This form of the disease can be fatal if not treated quickly.
Report - World - Health - Organization - Aug
A report from the World Health Organization stated that from Aug. 1 to Oct. 24, a total of 1,309 suspected cases of the plague were reported, and of those, 882 were classified as pneumonic plague. The report said that 93 people have died from the disease so far.
To make matters worse, Dr. Ashok Chopra, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas, told the U.K. Sun that the crisis had yet to peak.
Chopra - Disease - Region - Regularity - Flights
Chopra also warned it was likely that the disease could move further into the African region, given the regularity of flights in and out of the island.
Christine South, head of emergency operations for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red...
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