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Plague outbreak 鼠疫爆發

(added on 2017/10/27)

©2017 SpatioEpi.com
Data source: Hospital Authority, Hong Kong
Map created by CUHK SpatioEpi Group


Since August 2017, there has been an ongoing outbreak of plague in Madagascar, Africa. Within 2.5 months (1 Aug - 15 Oct 2017), more than 800 cases were reported, including at least 60 deaths. Thirty-seven out of 114 districts of the country have reported cases (http://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/plague/plague-outbreak-situation-reports). Seychelles, Madagascar's nearby country, has also reported imported cases.

In 1990s, plague prevailed in Asia and Africa, as shown in the map. While plague was still widespread in Africa, the number of reported cases in Asia was small in the following decade (2000-2009). In 2010 and thereafter, the annual number of reported cases in Africa dropped significantly to below 1000. However, the outbreak in Madagascar this year is becoming a concern, as it pushes the epidemic curve up again.

Plague is transmitted through the bite of infected animal's (mainly rodent) fleas. It can be classified as bubonic plague, pneumonic plague and septicaemic plague. Pneumonic plague can spread through respiratory droplets and is highly contagious. Around two-third of reported cases in the current outbreak in Madagascar were pneumonic plague. At least 39 healthcare workers were infected.

Data for the map were extracted from WHO.

今年(2017)八月,馬達加斯加爆發的鼠疫持續至今尚未完結。兩個半月期間(8月1日至10月15日),已經有超過800呈報個案,包括最少60死亡個案,覆蓋114中的37個地區 (http://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/plague/plague-outbreak-situation-reports)。附近的塞舌爾共和國也受影響。




Related Article

Plague 鼠疫

  • Plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia petis, which is transmitted from rodent to rodent by infected fleas. If bitten by an infected flea, a person usually develops a bubonic form of plague, which is characterised by a swelling of the draining lymph node. While bubonic plague is the commonest, there are also the septicaemic form and pneumonic form. Septicaemic plague occurs when infection spreads directly through the bloodstream, while the pneumonic form is the most virulent but least common. Plague also spreads from human to human by inhalation of aerosolised infective droplets, in the absence of flea or animal.
    A Hong Kong outbreak of plague occurred in Tai Ping Shan of Sheung Wan District in 1894. In fact, the bubonic plague bacillus was isolated in Hong Kong at that time by Alexandre Yersin from France.

  • 鼠疫是由耶爾辛氏鼠疫桿菌所引起,在齧齒動物中經由受感染的跳蚤傳播。假若人類被受感染的跳蚤叮咬,被叮位置的淋巴結會腫脹起來形成淋巴腺鼠疫,是最常見的鼠疫。另外,敗血症型鼠疫是細菌直接經血液中擴散所致;而肺炎性鼠疫則是毒性最強但最罕見的類別。肺炎性鼠疫是不需要經跳蚤或動物媒介,而是由人傳人經空氣吸入受感染飛沬傳播。香港曾於一八九四年在上環太平山一帶爆發一場鼠疫。當時法國科學家耶爾辛氏在香港發現淋巴腺鼠疫的桿菌。

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