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Plague kills 124 in Madagascar, cities most affected - report

In addition, two thirds of the cases are of the pneumonic plague, the deadliest form of the disease.

A council worker sprays disinfectant during the clean-up of the market of Anosibe in the Anosibe district of Antananarivo in Madagascar on 10 October 2017. Picture: AFP

KIGALI - A plague epidemic in Madagascar has killed 124 people since August in an outbreak that has hit the island’s two main cities the hardest, the authorities said on Wednesday.

Plague is endemic in Madagascar, but the outbreak that has caused 1,192 suspected cases since August is especially worrying because it started earlier in the season than usual and has hit urban rather than rural areas.

In addition, two thirds of the cases are of the pneumonic plague, the deadliest form of the disease.

“The total number of cases (1,192) is already three times higher than the average annual total,” the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management said in a report on Wednesday.

Last week a World Health Organization report said the death toll stood at 94.

The bubonic and pneumonic plagues and septicaemic are deadly infectious diseases. Look at the symptoms, causes and history of these deadly diseases. Picture: AFP

The capital Antananarivo and Toamasina, the two largest cities in Madagascar, an island in the Indian Ocean, were the most affected, with 55% of cases recorded there.

To date 54 medical staff have been infected, it said.

The report said that of an estimated $9.5 million in aid needed to counter the epidemic, only $3 million has been raised.

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