Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 12643093
Arch Inst Pasteur Madagascar 2002 ; 68(1-2): 51-4
The first case of plague was introduced in Madagascar in 1898 in the east coast by way of boat from India. In 1921, plague reach the highlands and a large epidemic over the next twenty years. Until the beginning of the 80’s, only of few case were identified, notified mostly in rural setting. However gradually it has re-emerged as a public health problem. Urban plague is located in the city of Antananarivo (resurgence in 1978 after 28 years of apparent silence) and in Mahajanga port (resurgence in 1991 after 63 years of silence). The reactivation of the Plague National Control Program from 1994 will allow better surveillance. The aim of this analysis is to update the epidemiological data on human plague in Madagascar based on reported cases obtained from the Central Lab of the Pasteur Institute of Madagascar from 1980 to 2001 (16,928 suspected cases of which 3,500 are likely positives or confirmed positives). The Plague season runs from October to March on the central highlands and July to November on the north-western coast. Sex-ratio male/female is 1.3/1, and the age-group of 5 to 25 years is more affected. The case fatality rate was 40% in the beginning of the 1980’s, and decreased to 20% by the end of the 1990’s. The percentage of case with pulmonary plague decrease from 15% to less than 5%. However, geographical extension is demonstrated: 4 districts in 1980, 30 districts in 1999 and 21 districts in 2001. In 2002, the diffusion of a new rapid test (reagent strip) in the primary health centres (CSB) in 42 endemic districts may help to decrease the morbidity and the letality due to plague and improve its control at the national level.