In a week, the number of infected in the African island of Madagascar
whilst the WHO is now admitting that the virus has gone airborne and is responsible for the death of 150 people.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also reported that the ‘Black Death’ now reaches some 73 percent of the country whilst infections are rising by 8% per week.
The virus, which has gone airborne and can be spread through coughing and sneezing, has ravaged the east African nation since half of August.
Experts warn it is now the worst outbreak on the island in 50 years. Due to the deadly pneumonic form that it has now taken on, the outbreak is a much bigger threat to the region which is only a short flying or even sailing distance from the African mainland.
Plague warnings have therefore been issued for nine countries surrounding Madagascar.
Dr Ashok Chopra, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas, stated that: "If they are travelling shorter distances and they're still in the incubation period, and they have the pneumonic (form) then they could spread it to other places. We don't want to have a situation where the disease spreads so fast it sort of gets out of control. If the treatment is not given in a very short period of time these people will end up dying."
Expectations are for the outbreak to continue until around April of next year due to weather conditions.
Madagascans have been told by local authorities to stop the traditional practice of Famadihana, where the dead are dug up and paraded around before they are re-buried.
Madagascar’s Health Minister, Mr 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."