Plague Outbreak in Madagascar Leaves 63 People Dead Since Augustby
The latest outbreak of bubonic plague on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar has killed 63 people since August, the Health Ministry said.
At least 174 cases of the disease have been detected, Maherisoa Ratsitorahina, head of disease surveillance at the ministry, said in a statement Thursday in the capital, Antananarivo. Madagascar notified the World Health Organization of the current outbreak in September.
At least 79 people died after an outbreak in 2014 that continued into early 2015, when at least 335 cases were reported, according to the WHO. The bacterial disease is spread by rodents or sometimes directly to people who have been bitten by infected fleas, the WHO says.
Efforts to curb the spread of the disease are being impeded by a build-up of garbage in Antananarivo amid a dispute between the municipality and the national government over who is responsible for waste management in the city.