29th November 2017 – The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially reported the plague outbreak in Madagascar to be contained in an update dated 27th November 2017. The 27th November marked 14 days after the last case of plague was reported.

In light of this development, the Public Health Authority is lifting the imposed travel restriction and wishes to inform others that there are no trade restrictions. Surveillance at the ports of entry, in laboratory and the health facilities are maintained. Isolation facilities at the military training academy are to be returned to the academy with immediate effect. Ships can enter port for normal activity without having to spend the 7 days outside Madagascar first.

The PHA takes the opportunity to thank the public for their support and understanding during this outbreak. The PHA will provide periodic update as and when required.

Overview of outbreak

Since the onset of the plague outbreak in Madagascar in August 2017, 2348 cases have been reported with 206 deaths (case fatality rate of about 9%).

The Ministry of Health in Madagascar officially announced the containment of the acute urban pneumonic plague outbreak on 25th November 2017. However, because plague is endemic in Madagascar and as the plague season lasts from September to April, more cases of bubonic and sporadic pneumonic plague are expected to be reported until April 2018.

It is therefore important that certain surveillance measures continue through to the end of the plague season. Based on its guidelines, WHO has reported that due to concerted national and international response the current and unprecedented outbreak of plague in Madagascar, which started on 1 August 2017, has been contained. International risk of spread of the plague was assessed to be low during the outbreak and now with the absence of new cases, that risk is even lower.