- Written by Queen Munguti for KenyaKidz
Following the outbreak of plague in Madagascar, Kenya has been classified as at moderate risk of potential spread due to travel interconnection with Madagascar.
As of 24 October 2017, a total of 1 309 suspected cases of plague, including 93 deaths (7%), were reported. Of these, 882 (67%) were clinically classified as pulmonary plague, 221 (17%) were bubonic plague, 1 was septicaemic, and 186 were unspecified (further classification of cases is in process). Since the beginning of the outbreak, 71 healthcare workers (with no deaths) have been affected.
WHO reported scaling up its response to an outbreak of plague in Madagascar that has spread to the capital and port towns. This current wave of outbreak has been affecting cities and other non-endemic areas in Madagascar since August 2017. The WHO report further revealed that between August and 20th October this year, a total of 849 cases and 74 deaths have been reported. At least 49 health care workers have contracted the disease in Madagascar.
According to WHO risk assessment, Kenya has been classified as at There are over 20 weekly flights between Madagascar and Kenya. This increased air travel can facilitate the spread of the disease due to short time taken to travel between the two countries. There is also sea transport for both passengers and cargo between Madagascar and Kenya.
Plague may be transmitted to humans by either of following ways: the bite of infected fleas, direct contact with infected fluids or tissues (either human or other infected animals), and inhalation of infected respiratory droplets. Plague can be a very severe disease with a case-fatality ratio of 30% to 100% if untreated. The disease develops within one to seven days after infection and symptoms includes sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, body aches, body weakness, nausea and vomiting. If diagnosed early, the disease can be cured with antibiotics and supportive care.