antananarivo - The pulmonary plague epidemic in Madagascar is over. Premier Olivier Mahafaly stated on Monday that no new cases have been reported since the beginning of November. The deadliest variant of the plague broke out in the African island state at the end of August. Since then 2384 people have been infected, of whom 202 have died.
The World Health Organization WHO has advised the authorities to remain vigilant in the coming months. 'It is a tragedy that a disease from the Middle Ages, which is easy to treat, can threaten an entire country and make more than two hundred dead victims,' said Peter Salama, WHO director for medical emergencies.
In Madagascar, the less contagious bubonic plague, transmitted by rat fleas, still occurs regularly in remote areas. In the case of lung plague, the bacterium spreads through coughing or sneezing from person to person such as flu viruses. If patients do not get antibiotics quickly, they can die within a few days.