In late August, a man traveling on a small, packed bus headed for the Malagasy capital, Antananarivo, passed away suddenly of respiratory failure. His body was taken to the nearest hospital where it was prepared for burial by health care workers. Within days, more than 30 people who had been in contact with the man became ill; four of whom died.
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The cause was the pneumonic plague, the most virulent form of a disease that has tormented humanity for centuries. This is the disease that, over the past millennia, has killed tens of millions. And here again today, it has killed more than 140, infected as many as 1,900, and sown fear across an entire country.
The situation in Madagascar is also a powerful reminder of our world’s high vulnerability to epidemic and pandemic threats. It repeats a pattern that has become far too frequent. Last year, the Zika virus affected millions across the world, mainly in South and Central America. And of course, in 2014, the Ebola virus found its way from a forest to the capital cities of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, claiming more than 11,000 lives.
Read the full article by Elhadj As Sy about disease prevention
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