In an interview today, Tuesday 10th October 2017, Dr Jude Gedeon, Public Health Commissioner confirmed that a 34 year old man tested weakly positive pneumonic plague following a rapid test. The man who travelled to Madagascar, arrived in Seychelles on Friday 6th October 2017, at which point he was placed under passive surveillance in his home and advised not to venture outside his house.
“He presented with symptoms yesterday. He was not feeling well and reported to a health centre. Because he was under surveillance, he was immediately put in isolation at the Seychelles Hospital,” Dr Gedeon said. Several tests were done, some of which had normal results. “We also conducted a rapid plague test which produced a weakly positive result,” Dr Gedeon added. Following this, the result was sent to L’institut Pasteur in France for cross-checking, at which point doctors have been advised to consider it a positive until further confirmatory tests are performed.
The man has been immediately given higher dosage of antibiotic treatment and all person who came into direct contact with him has also been put under active surveillance. These include his partner who also presented with symptoms today but has not been confirmed to be infected and a child who resides with the two.
Dr Gedeon has reassured that there is no reason to panic and that the Public Health Authority is continuing to enforce measures to prevent an outbreak within the country. “We continue to monitor passengers who enter the country from Madagascar. There are currently 42 people who are under passive surveillance,” he stated.
Moreover, 15 people who have been identified to have come into contact with the man have also been put on antibiotic treatment to prevent infection.
“Plague can easily be treated with antibiotics when detected early. And, our objective is to have early diagnosis, and identification of points of contact so we can administer treatment early,” Dr Gedeon further added with regards to strategies being implemented by the Ministry of Health.
At the moment, Air Seychelles has cancelled all flights to and from Madagascar as a further preventative measure. All members of the basketball delegation was who put under active surveillance at a centre is Perseverance have also been discharged following no presentation of symptoms.