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Plague Kills 39 in Madagascar

Update Date: Dec 13, 2013 09:45 AM EST

A plague that was spread by rats has killed 39 people in recent weeks in Madagascar, reported Arab News.

“There is an epidemic in Madagascar which is currently affecting five districts (out of 112). Eighty-six people have been inflicted by the plague, of which 39 have died,” said the ministry in a statement.

Experts said that total of 90 percent cases were diagnosed with pneumonic plague. It was a vicious strain that can kill the infected within three days.

The first person died of the plague was before November itself, but the government declared any such existence on Nov 23. Arab News reports the first case was registered in a village in the remote region of Mandritsara.

Due to uncontrolled deforestation in residential areas, infestation of rats occurred and plague spread.

Last year in Madagascar 60 people dies from bubonic plague which is more than any other country in the world.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Pasteur Institute are working to prevent bubonic plague from spreading further. Bubonic plague which is also known as the Black Death, killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe.

“If the plague gets into prisons there could be a sort of atomic explosion of plague within the town. The prison walls will never prevent the plague from getting out and invading the rest of the town,” said the institute’s Christophe Rogier to BBC.

The last significant outbreak of bubonic plague was in Peru three years back which killed 12 people.

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