Airborne plague cases increase 4%. Death toll now at 171. Real fear now is that strain is antibiotic resistant.
- World Health Organization data shows 2,119 people have now been infected
- Scientists are worried the ‘worst outbreak in 50 years’ has reached ‘crisis’ point
- Ten countries have been placed on high alert as experts fear it will reach Africa
- Other scientists fear this year’s outbreak will reach well beyond mainland Africa
- Two thirds of all the cases have been caused by the airborne pneumonic plague
- This can spread through coughing, sneezing or spitting and kill within 24 hours
The deadly plague outbreak in Madagascar is rapidly spiralling out of control as 171 people have now lost their lives, official figures reveal.
World Health Organization data also shows the ‘medieval disease’ has infected 2,119 in the country off the coast of Africa – a four per cent jump in a handful of days.
The ‘crisis’ has prompted ten African countries to be placed on high alert, with the WHO ordering nine to step up preparations.
Experts fear the plague, which strikes Madagascar every year, will inevitably become resistant to antibiotics and mutate and become untreatable.
Others worry it will eventually hit the US, Europe and Britain, leaving millions more vulnerable due to how quick it can spread through populations.
And with the plague season expected to run until April, scientists believe there will be another spike of cases in the coming months.
Scores of doctors and nurses have already been struck down with the disease, and there are growing fears hospitals will be unable to cope if it continues its rampage.
But local officials are adamant the ‘worst outbreak in 50 years’ is slowing down as the number of new cases is on the decline.
INFECTED FUGITIVES Black Death patients are ESCAPING hospital and refusing treatment sparking fears it may spread
related if these outbreaks are biological weaponry.