In the wake of the Ebola scare, 80 people have been infected with the Bubonic plague while 40 other have been killed in Madagascar with the virus. UPI reports.
The World Health Organization is warning of the risk of the “rapid spread” of the disease in the capital of Antananarivo — due to the population density and poor health care system. There’s already one confirmed death from the disease in the capital.
The disease is usually carried in fleas from infected animals. Humans can contract the disease when they’re bitten by the fleas. The risk is heightened now because of the high level of resistance among fleas to one of the major insecticides.
The outbreak is also particularly troubling because 2 percent of the cases in Madagascar are the more dangerous pneumonic form of the disease, which can be spread from person-to-person simply by coughing.
Bubonic plague can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early.
A WHO task force has been sent to Madagascar to help manage the outbreak.
The last outbreak of the plague occurred in Peru in 2010.