Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Plague death toll RISES--officials admit there IS risk of global outbreak
The following article appeared in the Daily Star on November 14th
THE terrifying black death plague has strengthened its grip and sent the death toll soaring.
By Nicholas Bieber
After Daily Star Online reported the disease ravaging Madagascar has killed 143 people, the deadly plague has now claimed 165.
And with at least another 2,000 being infected, fears of a global outbreak has doubled after the World Health Organisation’s latest update.Officials at the world health body have now admitted there is a real risk the disease could spread to Europe, the US and across the globe.
They are pinning their hopes, however, on a range of emergency measures being put in place to stop this from happening.
This disease – which can kill in just 24 hours – has sparked global panic especially as a similar outbreak of Black Death killed off one third of medieval Europe – and that was a staggering 50 million people.
The latest disease is a more virulent form that spreads through coughing, sneezing or spitting and is almost always fatal if untreated.A spokesman for the WHO said, although the growth in the number of cases is slowing down, they now fear a series of devastating “flare ups”.
The spokesman said: “While the number of new cases and hospitalizations due to plague is declining in Madagascar, WHO cannot rule out the possibility of flare ups of additional cases until the typical plague season ends in April 2018, and thus recommends maintaining vigilance until then.
“Based on available information and response measures implemented to date, the potential risk of further spread of plague at national level remains high.
“The risk of international spread is mitigated by the short incubation period of pneumonic plague, implementation of exit screening measures and advice to travelers to Madagascar, and scaling up of preparedness and operational readiness activities in neighbouring Indian Ocean islands and other southern and east African countries.”
Admitting there is a risk, albeit low, the spokesman added: “The overall global risk is considered to be low.”
Yesterday a disease expert warned Daily Star Online the plague outbreak could reach every continent due to the risk presented by holidaymakers flying home.
The disease is currently concentrated in Madagascar’s two largest cities Antananarivo and Toamasina.
The new strain can be treated with antibiotics.