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: Health officials warn of Sea-Tac measles exposure

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

Fourth Sierra Leonean doctor dies from Ebola

21 hours ago

A fourth Sierra Leonean doctor, a woman, died Sunday after contracting the dreaded Ebola virus, a top health official said, while a Dutch charity repatriated two doctors suspected of having been contaminated ...

Dutch Ebola doctors 'to be evacuated on Sunday'

23 hours ago

Two Dutch doctors feared to have contracted the deadly Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone are set to be flown back to the Netherlands "as soon as possible", the foreign ministry said Saturday.

Glycemic control linked to lumbar surgery complications

Sep 12, 2014

(HealthDay)—For patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) undergoing degenerative lumbar spine surgery, suboptimal glycemic control contributes to increased risk of complications and poor outcomes, according ...

User comments : 0