The Plague Continues

Rat Flea

Rat Flea

The bubonic plague has been reduced to a low incidence level in most of the world. Our understanding of disease transmission and the importance of controlling both the rodent population and the flea vectors have dampened the large uncontrollable outbreaks that have had major affects on world history. The plague is still with us and a recent outbreak on the island of Madagascar demands attention. Since August, over 100 people have been diagnosed with plague with 40 deaths. The plague has recently spread to the capital city, Antananarivo with a population of a quarter million. A serious risk of a plague outbreak in a densely populated area must be addressed. The World Health Organization and International Red Cross have stepped up efforts. Most worrisome is insecticide resistance in the flea population that makes flea control less effective. It is hoped that efforts to control rats and fleas can limit the number of cases. Underinvestment in health care facilities in poor nations leaves the populations at greater risk.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Health, News, Pest Management, Policy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Plague Continues

  1. Pingback: Plague Vectors | Living With Insects Blog

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