Pneumonic plague is highly transmissible (from one person to another) and, without appropriate treatment, can be rapidly fatal. From 1 August to 9 October, 449 cases of plague with 48 deaths were reported in 33 health districts across the country. Almost 80 per cent of the cases from total are in the two largest cities of the country, Antananarivo and Toamasina. The outbreak of plague in Madagascar was reported to the World Health Organization on 13 September 2017.
This is in world’s worst outbreak in 20 years. $ 9.5 million required to sustain the response plan of the Government of Madagascar and its partners. Only $2.9 million has already been raised. To date, WHO has provided $1.5 million, UNICEF $500,000, IFRC $250,000, UNDP $300,000 and UNFPA $331,000. Other forms of assistance were provided: China gave $200,000 in medicine, DHL is providing storage facilities, and USAID has donated 18,000 respirator masks, 100,000 simple masks and 10 vehicles to support operations of the Department of Public Health. Symptoms of pneumonic plague include coughing, fever and chest pain. The incubation period ranges from two to eight days. Some situations may promote infection, such as camping or hunting, as well as contact with dead animals. All travellers returning from Madagascar must monitor their health for 15 days and seek medical care immediately at their nearest health facility if they develop symptoms.