Madagascar's plague total tops 2,000 but outbreak shows signs of decline
Madagascar's plague total has grown to 2,034 cases, an increase of 87 since the last update from the World Health Organization (WHO), but no new suspected pneumonic cases or deaths were reported from Nov 7 to Nov 8. Overall, the rate of new cases and hospitalizations has been declining since the middle of October, the WHO said in the latest situation report today.
The number of deaths rose by 22, to 165, with the case-fatality rate rising slightly, to 8%. So far 1,565 illnesses (77%) have been classified as pneumonic plague.
Active case finding has been strengthened in two districts of the city of Tana, where most cases have been reported from over the past 2 weeks, the WHO said. Primary and secondary schools reopened on Nov 6, following disinfection and the installation of watch committees in each facility.
Though disease activity is declining in Madagascar, the WHO said more outbreak flare-ups are possible until the annual plague season ends in April. Plague is endemic in the country, but this season's surge of cases is unusual, because the potentially deadly pneumonic form has been responsible for most cases.
Nov 9 WHO situation update
More cases of vaccine-derived polio reported in Syria
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) today reported 10 new cases of vaccine-derived polio involving type 2 viruses in Syria this week, bringing the total of vaccine-derived cases in Syria to 63 this year.
All confirmed Syrian cases have involved onset of paralysis between Mar 3 and Aug 25. In addition to the 10 confirmed cases, four positive contacts have been reported, all 14 in Deir ez-Zur governorate, Syria.
Another round of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) will begin in Damascus and surrounding areas on Nov 19, the GPEI said.
Today's report also noted that a case attributed to wild poliovirus in Afghanistan that was announced last week is now confirmed. Onset of paralysis was Oct 11, but no other details about the patient are available. Afghanistan has reported nine cases of wild poliovirus infection this year.
Nov 10 GPEI report