Madagascar plague response bolstered

Madagascar plague response bolstered

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that it is rapidly upscaling its response to a recent outbreak of plague in Madagascar that has infected over 100 people in the space of a few weeks.

A Seychellois national has died due to the outbreak whilst visiting the island for a sporting event, and authorities have been tracking down anyone who may have come into contact with him. The death toll for the outbreak has now reached 21, says WHO.

“WHO is concerned that plague could spread further because it is already present in several cities and this is the start of the epidemic season, which usually runs from September to April,” said Dr. Charlotte Ndiaye, a WHO representative in Madagascar. “Our teams are on the ground in Madagascar providing technical guidance, conducting assessments, supporting disease surveillance, and engaging with communities.”

The WHO says it has released US$300,000 in emergency funds to increase response to the outbreak, and has appealed for a further $1.5 million.