Menu

Plague Outbreak in Madagascar

Pneumonic plague last month claimed 10 lives in 13 days, the World Health Organization reports.

Sep 8, 2015
Karen Zusi

Y. pestis bacteria on spines in a flea’s digestive systemFLICKR, NIAIDAn outbreak of plague erupted in Madagascar last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported last week (September 6). Between August 17 and August 30, the country’s Ministry of Health confirmed 14 cases of pneumonic plague, including 10 deaths.

The outbreak originated in a rural township in the Moramanga district, on the eastern half of the island nation. Plague is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria, which are typically spread via flea bites. The disease primarily affects rodents, but humans bitten by an infected flea can also become infected. Madagascar, Peru, and the Democratic Republic of Congo are three countries where plague remains endemic, according to the WHO.

Among forms of the disease, pneumonic plague is particularly fatal; patients can die within 24 hours of contracting the pathogen. Y. pestis-infected droplets, coughed up from infected lungs, enable human-to-human transmission. If patients are diagnosed in time, antibiotics can be effective in fighting the infection during a brief window of time following symptom manifestation.

According to the WHO, health officials in Madagascar organized a national task force to contain the August outbreak—employing active case monitoring and contact tracing, preventative antibiotic administration, and increased local communication, among other epidemic-management strategies. The country has not reported any additional cases since August 27.

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that its QXDx AutoDG ddPCR System, which uses Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR technology, and the QXDx BCR-ABL %IS Kit are the industry’s first digital PCR products to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance. Used together, Bio-Rad’s system and kit can precisely and reproducibly monitor molecular response to treatment in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.