Plague Outbreak in Madagascar


Madagascar is experiencing an outbreak of plague since 23 August 2017. As of 3 October 2017, 194 cases and 30 deaths (case fatality rate 15.5%) have been reported. Of these cases, 124 cases are pneumonic plague including 21 deaths, 68 are bubonic plague, including nine deaths, one is a septicemic plague and one is an undetermined plague case. The cases are from 20 central, eastern and northern districts in Madagascar.

WHO does not advise any travel or trade restrictions on Madagascar based on the current information available on this outbreak.

Travellers to Madascagar and other countries where plague occurs are advised to take these preventive measures:

  • Use of personal protection against fleabites. As Madagascar is a malaria endemic area, the use of mosquito repellents for malaria can protect against flea bites;
  • Avoidance of direct contact with sick or dead animals;
  • Avoidance of close contact with sick persons in particular with patients diagnosed with pneumonic plague or patients with symptoms consistent with pneumonic plague;
  • Avoidance of crowded areas where cases of pneumonic plague have been recently reported;
  • Contacting travel clinics before departure to get information about the current plague outbreak in Madagascar including preventive measures and symptoms of pneumonic plague;
  • Seeking immediate medical care if compatible symptoms are developed.

Further information: