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Plague cases double in Madagascar in a week

Plague cases double in Madagascar in a week
From CBC - October 13, 2017

With dozens dead from a plague outbreak inMadagascar, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said Friday it is deploying its first-ever plague treatment centre to the island nation.

The World Health Organization said 561 cases have been reported so far, with another in the Seychelles.

"The situation, as you know, is quite concerning. We have seen a doubling of cases over the last week," Dr. Julie Hall, the Red Cross federation's director of health and care, told reporters in Geneva.

Red Cross officials have said the situation is particularly worrying because pneumonic plague, which is spread from person to person, has occurred for the first time in non-endemic areas and crowded cities. About 70 per cent of the cases are the pneumonic form.

Cases of bubonic plague, transmitted from animals to people through flea bites, occur almost annually in Madagascar.

The rise in cases is due in part to a stronger reporting system, and not all cases have been confirmed, Hall said.

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