Wednesday 18 July 2018

Man diagnosed with pneumonic plague in Seychelles

He had returned from Madagascar

Children wear face masks at a school in Antananarivo, Madagascar (AP)
Children wear face masks at a school in Antananarivo, Madagascar (AP)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A man has been diagnosed with pneumonic plague in Seychelles after returning from Madagascar, where an outbreak has killed dozens of people.

The Seychelles News Agency reported that the patient arrived on the main island of Mahe on an Air Seychelles flight on October 6.

The airline has since suspended its Madagascar flights.

Seychelles health officials are monitoring 258 people, according to the agency, including passengers and crew from the flight carrying the man who fell ill, as well as his family members and patients at a health centre he attended.

Those who died in Madagascar include a basketball coach from Seychelles who was participating in a tournament in the capital, Antananarivo.

The outbreak began after a plague death in Madagascar's central highlands in late August.

Madagascar's Red Cross is stepping up efforts to stem a plague outbreak that has killed 30 people.

Red Cross officials said last week that the situation is particularly worrying because pneumonic plague, which is spread from person to person, has occurred for the first time in non-endemic areas and crowded cities.

It said cases of bubonic plague, transmitted from animals to people through flea bites, occur almost annually in Madagascar.

Aid workers say there have been 194 cases of plague, mostly pneumonic.

The Malagasy Red Cross mobilised 700 volunteers to work on community education, tracing people who have been in contact with plague victims and other health initiatives.

The outbreak began after the death of a 31-year-old man in Madagascar's central highlands in late August.

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