The 2017-2018 plague outbreak in Madagascar started late August, it being established that the first death – concerning a passenger travelling from Ankazobe to Toamasina in a ‘taxi-brousse’ public service vehicle – occurred on 27th August 2017.

This case of suspected pneumonic plague was identified as the starting point of the current epidemic. The most recent probable cases were reported on 2nd October 2017 at Ambohidahy, Ambohimanarina, and the Renivohitra district of Antananarivo. The notable aspect of this year’s epidemic is that it consists of a pulmonary form affecting urban areas. Risk communication, preventing public alarm, is one of the main challenges.

In order to strengthen community-based monitoring the Malagasy Red Cross has activated its volunteer network in the 19 districts where suspected or confirmed cases have been reported. The other Malagasy Red Cross branches near these 19 districts have also been mobilised, and are conducting awareness-raising activities.

Situation on 3rd October 2017:

28 deaths,
187 suspected cases