As the death toll rises to nearly 200 fatalities, scientists fear for the worst as the deadly bacteria continues to infect people. The World Health Organisation estimates the number of infections to be in the region of 2,200and rising.
The bacteria, a strain from the bubonic plague, shows antimicrobial resistance which causes a real threat. Before antibiotics were discovered the plague also known as the “black death” killed more people than any other disease.
The current spread of the disease is unusual in that most of those affected have been infected with the pneumonic form of the plague which affects the lungs and can kill within 24 hours.
The nearby countries of Malawi, South Africa, Seychelles, Tanzania, Mauritius, La Reunion, Kenya, Mozambique and Ethiopia have all been warned that they should prepare for the disease reaching their shores.
WHO has pledged $3.8 m to help treat the disease and fight the spread in neighbouring countries.