More than 1,300 cases of the deadly airborne plague have now been reported in Madagascar, with officials from the World Health Organization now fearing the outbreak will spread across Africa.
Two thirds of those cases are suspected to be pneumonic – described as the ‘deadliest and most rapid form of plague’, World Health Organization figures show.
The outbreak is moving quickly, spreading to countries , including Seychelles, South Africa and La Reunion. Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Comoros and Mauritius are the six other countries to have received the heightened alert.
It has been reported as many as 50 aid workers are believed to have been among
the people infected.
The statement questions the UN figures released last week that warned the plague outbreak has infected less than 1,200.Officials are growing concerned as around two thirds of the cases are suspected to be pneumonic plague, spread through coughing, sneezing or spitting.
The deadly disease is caused by the same bacteria that wiped out at least 50 million people in Europe in the 1300s.