A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) from 6 November, 2017 has given insight as to the spread and severity of the plague in Madagascar. According to the report, there are 1,947 cases and 143 deaths. The Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is approximately 7%, which means that 7% of the patients that have contracted plague have died. 74% were “clinically classified as pulmonary plague” or pneumonic, 15% bubonic and only one was septicemic. These are not three random strains of plague, they generally start as bubonic and if they reach the lungs they become pneumonic, which can then be spread by coughing or other airborne means. 50 of these cases are believed to be aid workers.
Early diagnosis can provide quite positive results, but if left untreated the fatality rate can vary from 30% to 100%. Pneumonic plague is pretty much going to kill you if you don’t treat it. The unfortunate reality is that, in rural areas like places in Madagascar, fast treatment might not be so readily available–especially when the onset of plague actually just looks like the flu and not some huge emergency.
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