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 Post subject: Madagascar: the plague
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:03 am 
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Amazed no one has posted about this yet as it's been in the news for at least a week:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/874 ... ast-Africa

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/healt ... 31591.html


I know someone is immediately going to downplay this as there is a cure available, but the first link discusses how it is actually 3 strains:

Quote:
But the plague, which has so far killed 123 and left hundreds infected, is a super-strain which is even more infectious and deadly than famous the Bubonic Plague of the 14th century.

The Madagascar Plague is actually THREE plagues.

The first is bubonic - the type which ravaged Europe and the Mediterranean in the thirteen hundreds, leaving up to 60 percent dead.

The second is pneumonic – a super strain of the yersinia pestis bacterium which ALWAYS results in death.

The third, more rare strain, is septecaemic – a life-threatening infection of the blood.

In Madagascar plague is endemic, and flare-ups cause public health emergencies on an almost annual basis but now the nation faces an uncontrolled epidemic which is terrifying the world’s health agencies.



In the second article, WHO talks a bit more about the issues:

Quote:
Plague is endemic to parts of Madagascar with around 500 cases reported annually. But the current outbreak has reached densely populated cities and regions where it is not usually present, and are less prepared to handle cases.

Pneumonic plague is a particularly infectious form because it invades the lungs and so can spread quickly from person to person, through coughing or in confined spaces.

Bubonic plague, the other common form, is spread by bites from infected fleas, or close contact with an infected animal.

The WHO says: “Plague is a preventable and treatable disease; however, untreated pneumonic plague is always fatal.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:43 am 
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I brought this up at the office, the main comment being that when you play I think it's Pandemic, as a disease, Madagascar is one of the hardest places to infect for the global domination victory.

So this is starting out in Madagascar, playing on easy mode.

I attended a CBRNE conference this year, which had some interesting research on Y. Pestis and analogues. (I was unaware that the Japanese had used it as a Bio-Weapon in WW2 for example) and it's Y. Pestis that causes the Plague, which takes three forms, so while yes, you could call it three plagues, they are all caused by the same organism.

If you have Y. Pestis in the Lungs; it's Pneumonic plague, in the Blood; Speticemic, in the Lymphatic system; Bubonic (the Buboes are actually your swollen lymph nodes AFAIK).

And Y. Pestis is endemic in the US, and has been since the 60's. There are regular outbreaks with near 100% fatality... in Prairie dogs.

As for the cure... with Antibiotic resistance on the rise, we may not have a sure fire cure for long.

A mild outbreak of the plague would have devastating side effects. The Economic and Social disruption would cause a vast amount of damage compared to the small amount of deaths I would expect from an early caught incident. However, if it wasn't caught early, even with Antibiotics, I would not be surprised to see a death total swiftly rising as infections outpaced counter measures.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:44 pm 
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Antananarivo International Airport (Madagascar) is a mere 25 hour plane ride from NOLA (including all of the plane changes and waiting times) via Paris and Atalanta. It is a single ~11 hour plane ride from Paris, Rome Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam.
(BTW according to Orbitz there are discount airfares available now! :clownshoes:)

Couple this with the fact that unlike Ebola and other similar diseases it's incubation period is a bit longer allowing ill people to actually make such a flight without being detected as ill.

So be aware of this risk.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:03 pm 
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Pneumonic and Septicemic plague are particularly concerning as they can be transmitted via inhaling airborne droplets (like when an infected person sneezes).

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:41 am 
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A recent spike in cases has caused predictions to increase to 20K+ cases by mid December.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... et-40.html

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:10 am 
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Numbers still rising.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... ascar.html

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:25 am 
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Numbers still rising as predicted, My main fear is a case being treated in a hospital which is host to MRSA or similar which could impart antibiotic resistance to the plague.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:26 am 
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The WHO website seems to suggest that this outbreak may be largely contained/burned-out since mid last week - at least within Madagascar.
http://www.who.int/csr/don/02-november-2017-plague-madagascar/en/
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/259424/1/Ex-PlagueMadagascar09112017.pdf

I couldn't find more information about further cases outside of Madagascar, but I didn't perform a very thorough search through their material.

This is still an interesting situation though, and the local "plague season" will not end until April 2018 they say, so it is definitely still something to keep an eye on.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:51 pm 
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Yup, looks like it is almost cleared up.

Latest from WHO:

http://www.who.int/csr/don/27-november- ... gascar/en/

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