November 3, 2017

Dancing with Death

Madagascar plague is spreading because relatives are digging up their corpses and dancing with them.

 Dancing Dead Corpses Madagascar

All Saints Day, otherwise known as the 'Day of the Dead', is a public holiday which takes place on November 1 each year, sees families often gathering at local cemeteries. Madagascans have been told to stop the traditional practice of Famadihana - which sees locals dig up deceased relatives and dance with them before they are re-buried...It is feared to have contributed to the outbreak that has left 120 dead from pneumonic plague - an even deadlier strain of the lethal disease than bubonic plague.

The country's health chief Willy Randriamarotia said: "If a person dies of pneumonic plague and is then interred in a tomb that is subsequently opened for a Famadihana, the bacteria can still be transmitted and contaminate whoever handles the body."

Deadly plague epidemic in Madagascar is now at 'crisis' point and could reach mainland Africa where it will be 'difficult to control', warns expert as World Bank releases $5M of aid

The deadly plague epidemic that has rocked the island of Madagascar could reach mainland Africa, a respected disease expert has warned. The outbreak, which has been described the worst in 50 years’ and has now reached ‘crisis’ point, has prompted World Health Organization officials to place nine African countries on high alert. South Africa, Seychelles, La Reunion, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Comoros and Mauritius have all been told to brace for potential cases in the coming weeks.

Today Paul Hunter, professor of health protection at the world-renowned University of East Anglia, is the first expert to predict it could reach mainland Africa.Speaking to MailOnline exclusively, he said: ‘The big anxiety is that it could spread to mainland Africa, it’s not probable, but certainly possible, that might then be difficult to control.’
Earlier today, amid concerns the plague had reached crisis points, the World Bank released an extra $5 million (£3.8m) to control the deadly outbreak. The money will allow for the deployment of personnel to battle the outbreak in the affected regions, the disinfection of buildings and fuel for ambulances. Two thirds of cases have been caused by the airborne pneumonic plague, which can be spread through coughing, sneezing or spitting and kill within 24 hours.
Posted by Jill Fallon at November 3, 2017 5:04 PM | Permalink