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The WHO has issued warnings to South Africa, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, the Seychelles, and Tanzania, amid fears that the disease could easily spread through air travel.
A WHO report on the disease notes that, South Africa in particular, is at risk given its travel and trade connections with Madagascar.
Unicef, the Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have all mobilised emergency plans in the countries.
They aim to increase public awareness to increase surveillance, particularly at borders, draw up contingency plans and sourcing medication.
“WHO is prepositioning equipment and supplies, including personal protective equipment, antibiotics and other equipment required to safely identify plague cases, in Comoros, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, and Tanzania,” the WHO said in a statement.
According to the WHO, the overall risk of the plague is very high and that, depending on the type of plague, there is a 30 to 100% chance of death within 72 hours if it is left untreated.