Plague in Madagascar: summary & background

21 October 2017 – Fact#1: Madagascar is the World’s hot-spot of plague (see 14 October entry with a link to a 2010-2015 review), annual number of cases average 200-600 there; “plague season” runs from September to April; Fact#2: plague in Madagascar is usually rural and bubonic (transmitted by Xenopsylla cheopis, the black rat, Rattus rattus, flea); Fact#3: in Madagascar Rattus rattus populations in high Yersinia pestis areas are significantly resistant, remaining infected and infectious to their fleas.

Unusual (Scary) Fact#1: it’s only October and the number of cases is already 1,300; Unusual (Very worrisome) Fact#2: over 60% of cases are pneumonic and urban – i.e. human to human transmission; Unusual Fact #3: mortality rate is relatively low = 8% (maybe because antibiotics have been flowing in?).

Date / Cases / Deaths / New cases per day
14 Sep 2017 / 28 / 5
30 Sep 2017 / 73 / 17 / 3
3 Oct 2017 / 194 / 30 / 40
5 Oct 2017 / 258 / 36 / 32
7 Oct 2017 / 343 / 42 / 43
8 Oct 2017 / 387 / 45 / 44
9 Oct 2017 / 449 / 48 / 62
10 Oct 2017 / 500 / 54 / 51
11 Oct 2017 / 561 / 57 / 61
13 Oct 2017 / 684 / 57 / 61
16 Oct 2017 / 805 / 74 / 40
17 Oct 2017 / 878 / 80 / 44
18 Oct 2017 / 1032 / 89 / 164
19 Oct 2017 / 1153 / 94 / 121
20 Oct 2017 / 1297 / 102 / 144

revised numbers still some uncertainty
23 Oct 2017 / 1192 / 124 / 10?

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