South African successfully treated after contracting plague

12 October 2017 - 12:59 By Bafana Nzimande
Council workers at the start of a clean-up operation in Anosibe market in Antananarivo, the capital of  Madagascar, where more than 20 people have died from bubonic and pneumonic plague since August. Bubonic plague is spread by fleas carried by rats attracted to dirt and rubbish.
Council workers at the start of a clean-up operation in Anosibe market in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, where more than 20 people have died from bubonic and pneumonic plague since August. Bubonic plague is spread by fleas carried by rats attracted to dirt and rubbish.
Image: AFP

A South African basketball player who had contracted plague in Madagascar has been successfully treated.

The player has returned to South Africa and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Thursday issued a statement saying the player does not pose any health risk.

Details about the player and the team have not been established yet by TimesLIVE but the NICD is in contact with the group and has mentioned that it will follow up on them.

The NICD warned South Africans travelling to Madagascar to be highly cautious of their surroundings as the country is experiencing an outbreak.

According to the NICD statement‚ the number of reported cases is 449 and 48 deaths have been recorded so far.

“The outbreak is primarily located in the middle third of the island‚ centred around the capital‚ Antananarivo and Toamasina province on the east coast. A single area on the northern coast is affected. The majority of cases are presenting as pneumonic plague‚” reads the statement.

The NICD said plague is a zoonotic disease caused by a bacterium Yersinia pestis. Where plague is endemic‚ it is usually found in rodents and is spread by fleas from rodent or to other mammals.

“South African travellers to Madagascar are advised to avoid highly populated areas‚ avoid close contact with ill persons‚ wear surgical masks while in transit‚ avoid contact with rodents and dead animals‚” said the NICD statement.

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