At least 165 people have been killed by the devastating outbreak of an airborne disease spreading like wildfire in Madagascar. Around another 2,000 people have been struck down by the – called pneumonic plague – by the lethal “medieval disease”. Infection and immunity expert Dr Matthew Avison, of University of Bristol, has revealed the outbreak in east Africa is likely to become more serious before the “crisis” ends.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, Dr Avison said because the disease is “extremely rare” it has been “resilient” to antibiotics. “Because this disease is extremely rare, it doesn’t get exposed to antibiotics that often,” he said. “That means it’s more resistant to antibiotics and the risk of death is higher.” However, he said if antibiotics are handed out quickly then the disease “can still be treated”. Failure to do so could result in the outbreak – the “worst in 50 years” – spreading to other continents, including Europe and the US, he warned.