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More than 90 killed in Madagascar Plague epidemic
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More than 90 killed in Madagascar Plague epidemic

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The World Health Organization has sounded the alarm about a plague epidemic which has killed 94 people on the island of Madagascar and which it says could spread further to other parts of Africa.

The WHO says it is racing to stop both the Madagascar plague and an outbreak of the Ebola-like Marburg virus in Uganda.

The Plague has caused about 1,150 suspected cases since August.

Plague is endemic in Madagascar, but the outbreak  is especially worrying because it started earlier in the season than usual, has hit towns rather than rural areas, and is mainly causing pneumonic plague, the most deadly form of the disease.

The outbreak already looks big when compared with the 3,248 cases and 584 deaths reported worldwide from 2010 to 2015. Fall said the risk to Madagascar remained very high, although the international risk was very low.

WHO has delivered antibiotics to Madagascar to treat up to 5,000 patients and as a prophylactic dose for up to 100,000 people who might be at risk, as well as 150,000 sets of personal protective equipment.

About 2,000 health workers are tracing people who have had contact with plague sufferers, which should allow the disease to be controlled relatively quickly, Fall said.

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