SA basketball player successfully treated for the plague

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The South African basketball player who had contracted plague in Madagascar has been successfully treated.

The Times reports that the player has returned to South Africa and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has issued a statement saying the player does not pose any health risk.

The report says details about the player and the team have not yet been established but the NICD is in contact with the group and has mentioned that it will follow up on them.

The NICD warned South Africans travelling to Madagascar to be highly cautious of their surroundings as the country is experiencing an outbreak.

According to the NICD‚ the number of reported cases is 449 and 48 deaths have been recorded so far. “The outbreak is primarily located in the middle third of the island‚ centred around the capital‚ Antananarivo and Toamasina province on the east coast. A single area on the northern coast is affected. The majority of cases are presenting as pneumonic plague.”

The NICD said plague is a zoonotic disease caused by a bacterium Yersinia pestis. Where plague is endemic‚ it is usually found in rodents and is spread by fleas from rodent or to other mammals.

“South African travellers to Madagascar are advised to avoid highly populated areas‚ avoid close contact with ill persons‚ wear surgical masks while in transit‚ avoid contact with rodents and dead animals‚” said the NICD.

The Times report

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