Madagascar has been hit by a deadly plague already acclaimed to be the “worst outbreak in 50 years”. It’s death toll has reached 143 with a total of 2,000 infected and it is said to be rapidly spreading through the African nation.
What you should know
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention explained that plague is a bacterial infection that is usually spread through bites by infected fleas. When acquired by flea bite, plague causes symptoms of high fever and swollen and tender lymph nodes (bubonic plague) that usually occur 2–6 days after the bite. If it is not treated, the infection can spread to the lungs and cause pneumonia.
As in the case of Madagascar, Plague pneumonia (or “pneumonic plague”) is the only form that can be directly transmitted from one person to another. In rare but serious cases, a person with severe plague pneumonia can spread the infection directly to others by coughing up droplets that contain the plague bacteria. These bacteria-containing droplets can cause pneumonic plague in another person if breathed in. Symptoms of plague pneumonia typically appear 2–4 days after inhaling plague bacteria and usually include sudden onset of high fever and cough and other general symptoms such as headache, chills, and weakness.
Plague can be treated with antibiotics. However, without prompt treatment, plague can cause serious illness or death.
Source: The Punch News