Bubonic plague confirmed in Madagascar

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MSYgirl, Dec 10, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    [article]

    A village in Madagascar has been hit by a deadly outbreak of the bubonic plague, medical experts on the island have confirmed.

    Test were carried out after at least 20 people in the village, near the north-western town of Mandritsara, were reported to have died last week.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross warned in October that Madagascar was at risk of a plague epidemic.

    The disease is transmitted to humans via fleas, usually from rats.

    What is bubonic plague?
    • Caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis
    • Essentially a disease of wild rodents, spread by fleas
    • Plague spreads to humans either by the bite of infected fleas or rats
    • Does not spread from person to person
    • Patients develop swollen, tender lymph glands (called buboes) and fever, headache, chills and weakness
    • It is treatable if caught early, but can be lethal
    Bubonic plague, known as the Black Death when it killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages, is now rare.
     
  2. gaijin62

    gaijin62 Gold Member

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    I hope they can get it under control quickly.
     
  3. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Thanks for posting, MSYgirl! The CDC has been studying plague transmission in Uganda for years, while trying to help those affected there:

    If you're interested in this topic, a CDC report on this topic is available here:
    http://blogs.cdc.gov/cdcworksforyou...-lives-in-areas-still-ravaged-by-black-death/
    and an information sheet on the project is available here:
    http://www.cdc.gov/washington/~cdcatWork/pdf/uganda.pdf

    I think that it's fair to say that many Americans are reasonably clueless when they travel internationally, in that they expect to have the same health and security risks as at their hometown. That's just plain wrong!

    Step #1 to prepare for international travel should be looking at an international health advisory website, such as the CDC's Travellers' Health website:
    http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
    Step #2 should be visiting your physician or local hospital's travel medicine clinic (about a month before departure) to receive necessary immunizations and medications that you may want to bring with you during your travels.

    It's much better to be aware, informed, and prepared for overseas travel, than the alternative! ;)
     
  4. LETTERBOY
    Original Member

    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    I think many Americans expect everything to be the same when they travel internationally. :(:mad::rolleyes: This fact is funny, sad, and infuriating all at the same time. You could even make the argument for travel to different regions of the US.
     
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  5. riverchica
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    riverchica Silver Member

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  6. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    You bet! There's all kinds of things going on in the "4 corners" region of NM, AZ, UT and CO, including hantavirus! I recall being told by a cab driver at ABQ airport that I was in "the land of the flea, and the home of the plague"! ;)
     
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  7. adventuress

    adventuress Silver Member

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    I wanted to tour Madagascar in the worst way a couple years ago . . . fascinated by the creatures. But my South African trip was too exhausting for me to think about stopping there and being conscientious about protecting against malaria and whatever political instability there might be.
     
  8. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    The History Channel did a show several years ago, "The Plague," about the Black Death in the 14th century. You can get it on DVD or iTunes. Fascinating stuff.
     
  9. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    There goes my 2014 trip. It has been on my to-do for eons :(
     
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  10. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Don't let something like this ruin your 2014 trip!

    Just plan around it!
     
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  11. adventuress

    adventuress Silver Member

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    The Animal Channel did a piece on Madagascar. It was one of the best on the subject of interesting animals I have ever seen. But all the possible diseases is rather daunting and also that it seemed if one wants to go, one has to get out into it; camping and such.
     
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