Published on : Thursday, November 2, 2017
Right now, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified as many as nine territories as the priority for ‘plague preparedness and readiness’ given their trade and travel links to this island.
And the nearby nations including Seychelles, Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Comoros, Moxambique, Ethiopia, La Reunion island in France and Tanzania are presently on a high alert following fears that this plague is likely to target there next.
Currently there is a six day quarantine on all individuals arriving from Madagascar is an effort to check the spread of this deadly disease.
The government figures have mentioned that as many as 140,000 British tourists arrive in Mauritius every year and about 100,000 British residents visit Kenya and the Seychelles, and Seychelles is one the main tourism hotspots. British tourists heading to the region have now been warned to take precautions.
The government has also confirmed that all direct flights from Madagascar to Seychelles have been suspended till they receive further notice.
Also there exist other concerns the infectious disease might spread through air and sea travel from the island in the Indian Ocean as hospitals in regions favored among British travellers have been cautioned to expect fresh cases here.
The Madagascar plague is referred to as ‘pneumonic plague’.
By now it has infected 1,300 people on the African island. The outbreak is also being blamed on a very old ritual in Madagascar that is associated with the practice of dancing with the corpses. Many families on this African country have long been practicing this ritual known as ‘Famadihana’ which witnesses the family members dancing with the body of the deceased person prior to burying them once again.
Willy Randriamarotia who is the health chief of Madagascar told the regional news media that if a person meets his end by pneumonic plague and is interred inside a tomb that is again opened for Famadihana, the bacteria is capable of being transmitted and contaminating whoever handles the body.
The current plague outbreak is actually the same bacteria that had eliminated almost a third of the populace of Europe in the 1300s.
The pneumonic plague is described as the most fatal and rapid form of this disease. It is extremely infectious and has a 100% mortality rate when left untreated.
However despite the risks numerous people have been opting to ignore the advise not to reopen graves for Famadihana.