The World Health Organization has delivered over one million antibiotics’ doses to fight a plague outbreak in Madagascar that has killed as many as 33 people.
Authorities banned visits to prisons as well in two of the areas that are most affected to prevent the disease from spreading. Risk is high for contamination in the unsanitary, overcrowded jails.
Recently there has been criticism of a perceived slow reaction by the government to the plague outbreak.
The ministry of health said the most recent plague outbreak has infected more than 230 people, plus those who already died over the past two months. Each year in the country an average of 400 cases of plague affect the population.
However, this year most of the plague cases are pneumonic plague that affects the person’s lungs and can be transmitted via coughing. It is considered the most deadly form of plague and can kill someone in less than 24 hours.
The bubonic plague, which is less deadly, is spread often times by rodents that flee forest fires. Humans become ill usually after infected fleas bite them.
Madagascar officials have also banned any public gatherings due to the most recent outbreak of the plague. One hospital has been set up in the capital of Antananarivo is struggling trying to cope with the number of ill people arriving with long lines outside the hospital for medicine and face masks.
This year areas near cities have also been affected, which has worried most aid agencies that are in Madagascar as they are not known for having a strong healthcare system.
If found in time the plague is curable, and teams are working to ensure those at risk can gain access to protection as well as treatment.
It is not clear when the first outbreak of the disease took place but the first person who died from it was on August 28 when a public service vehicle passenger in Moramanga died.
Two more people, who had been in contact with that passenger died at a later date, with another two dying in the central part of the island.
A basketball coach from the Seychelles died on September 27 in a hospital in Antananarivo during a basketball championship being played there.
The outbreak has hit two main regions, with the first being eastern Madagascar, where the first deal on August 28 was posted, and the other is in central Madagascar and mainly in the capital of Antananrivo.