Libya records 13 cases of bubonic plague

Jun 17, 2009

Thirteen cases of bubonic plague have been recorded in eastern Libya, near the border with Egypt, Health Minister Mohamad Hijazi told AFP on Wednesday, stressing the situation was under control.

"Thirteen cases of the plague have been recorded in a village 30 kilometres (20 miles) away from Tobruk. Eleven people have already (been treated and) left hospital," he said, without reporting any deaths.

Libyan media have spoken of between one and three fatalities.

"The situation is under control. We are leading a massive campaign to clean up and disinfect the place," said Hijazi, explaining that the illness was caused by rising rat numbers attracted by livestock being reared near homes.

He said cowsheds had been destroyed and a foreign pest control firm sent to eradicate the rats, in an operation to be supervised by a World Health Organisation (WHO) representative and a French expert.

Hijazi said the illness had previously hit Libya in the 1970s and 1980s.

The plague is "primarily a disease of rodents and their fleas, which can infect humans. It is transmitted between rodents by rodent fleas, and can be transmitted to people when infected rodent fleas bite them," according to WHO.

"Plague is a very severe disease in people, with case fatality rates of 50-60 percent if left untreated."

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Flu season, early again, hitting hard in South and Midwest

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists discover 21st century plague

Nov 24, 2008

Bacteria that can cause serious heart disease in humans are being spread by rat fleas, sparking concern that the infections could become a bigger problem in humans. Research published in the December issue of the Journal of ...

The plague tracked in Denver

May 11, 2007

Denver officials warned people to stay away from squirrels as they monitored what could be an outbreak of the plague.

Ouch! Taking a shot at plague

Jul 16, 2008

Endangered black-footed ferrets, like children, aren't exactly lining up to be stuck with a vaccine, but in an effort to help control an extensive outbreak of plague in South Dakota, some of the ferrets are getting dosed ...

Denver Zoo monkey dies of plague

May 22, 2007

A hooded capuchin monkey at the Denver Zoo has died of the plague, which officials suspect was transmitted by a squirrel.

Missing lab mice infected with plague

Sep 15, 2005

The FBI and New Jersey officials have started a hushed but intensive search for three missing lab mice reportedly infected with deadly strains of plague.

Recommended for you

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

10 hours ago

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

10 hours ago

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal ...

Discovery of genes that predispose a severe form of COPD

13 hours ago

A study by Ramcés Falfán-Valencia, researcher at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER), found that the mestizo Mexican population has a number of variations in certain genes that predispose ...

On the environmental trail of food pathogens

14 hours ago

Tracking one of the deadliest food contamination organisms through produce farms and natural environments alike, Cornell microbiologists are showing how to use big datasets to predict where the next outbreak could start.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.