NICD: Don't be alarmed, no cases of plague detected in SA

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NCID) says a South African man has been successfully treated for the plague after he contracted it during his visit to Madagascar.

The plague has only been detected in Madagascar with 93 deaths reported since August.

NCID's Dr Lucille Bloomberg says there is no need for South Africans to panic, because the risk is very low.

Dr Bloomberg says South Africans who travel to Madagascar and other neighbouring countries should be vigilant and look out for symptoms.

There is no need to panic. Our risk of patients with plague is very low. We need to be vigilant.

Lucille Bloomberg, Director at National Institute For Communicable Diseases

SA was one of nine countries identified to be on high alert including Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, France's La Réunion, the Seychelles and Tanzania.

The bacterial infection is seen every year in Madagascar, in the central plateau of the island nation, explains Bloomberg.

She says that the plague is readily treatable with easily available in antibiotics.

The doctor explains that the cases in Madagascar are of pneumonic plague, which is the most contagious and deadliest form of the disease.

The bubonic plague, on the other hand, is not infectious.

According to Bloomberg, South Africa is well-equipped to test for and treat plague should any cases arise.

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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : NICD: Don't be alarmed, no cases of plague detected in SA


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