Monday, November 13, 2017

MILLIONS at Risk As Fears Mount That Black Death Plague May MUTATE and Become UNTREATABLE
THE deadly plague outbreak could become untreatable if the virus mutates, it has been warned.

By Charlotte Ikonen
11th November 2017

Madagascar plague: Government battle to stop disease spreading

The death toll from Madagascar has reached 143 with a total of 2,000 infected as it rapidly spreads through the African nation.

Health officials have warned this is the “worst outbreak in 50 years”.

And disease experts have said that if virus mutates, the epidemic will get much worse.

Speaking to Daily Star Online, disease outbreak expert Professor Paul Hunter said that the disease could be contained if it arrived in Europe but the worry would be if the plague became resistant to antibiotics.

"As with any disease, it's a real worry that it mutates and become untreatable," he said.

“If it reaches the UK, Europe or the US it would be similar to the Ebola outbreak.

“We would probably have a few isolated cases but it shouldn’t spread like it has in Madagascar.”

The plague death toll has risen to 143 in Madagascar. World Health Organization figures show the black death outbreak has now infected 1,947 people in the country off the east coast of Africa.

The airborne pneumonic plague can be spread by coughing, sneezing, spitting and other contact with bodily fluids.

The World Health Organisation has said this current outbreak is “different” to that seen before.

Nine countries are now on high alert amid fears the disease could go global.

Pneumonic plague – a relative of the Black Death – can kill in as little as 24 hours.

Dr Charlotte Ndiaye, a WHO Representative in Madagascar said: “WHO is concerned that plague could spread further because it is already present in several cities and this is the start of the epidemic season, which usually runs from September to April.”

The WHO has delivered 1.2million doses of antibiotics to fight the disease while the Red Cross has been training hundreds of volunteers in preventative measures.

It comes as earlier this month, experts warned the disease could one day become an epidemic in the US.

Madagascar has suffered plague outbreaks almost every year since 1980, typically between September and April.

There are already fears the outbreak could last for another five months as Madagascar enters the rainy season.

Daily Star Online previously revealed fears the virus could go global.

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