2 members of the Seychelles basketball delegation from Madagascar will continue to remain under active observation for pneumonic plague, in isolation at the Seychelles hospital while the rest of the group, currently under quarantine at a Perseverance facility will be able to go home on Friday 6th October 2017.
The Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon said this, while providing an update on the outbreak of the plague in Madagascar as well as, precautionary measure that Seychelles is taking to prevent a similar outbreak.
The two members of the team who remain under surveillance developed concerning symptoms while under observation. These symptoms include fever and body ache. Although both individuals do not meet case definitions, they will remain under surveillance where they will undergo several test and receive treatment, including intravenous antibiotics.
The plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, usually found in small mammals and fleas. Humans are usually contaminated by the bite of infected fleas, through direct contact with infected materials or by inhalation. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) pneumonic plague or lung-based plague is the most lethal form and can trigger severe epidemics through droplets in the air.
The Ministry of Health is advising everyone to refrain from travelling to Madagascar unless completely necessary. Several other measures are also being put in place.
Measures in Seychelles against plague outbreak
- Surveillance form are completed by all arriving passengers and crew from Madagascar.
- Temperature scanning also performed on all passengers from Madagascar.
- Passive surveillance (home based) will be done for 7 days upon arrival. They are visited/contacted daily. So far 18 people are under passive surveillance.
- IOT has agreed to postpone all leave of Malagasy workers due to travel to Madagascar until further notice.
- All those on leave in Madagascar are being informed to remain there until further notice.
- All travel agents and airlines informed to advise passengers coming to book flights to Madagascar about advisory to refrain from travelling there. Those who insist they will be referred to CDCU for further advise.
- Briefing is being organised for all category of staff that work at airport-starting Thursday 5th October 2017.
- Seychelles port and fishing authority are being informed to advise fishermen not to visit Madagascar ports until further notice.
- Tests for plague are being brought in from institute Pasteur and should be available in next day or so. Confirmatory tests will be done at institute Pasteur Madagascar or NICD (National Institute of Communicable Disease) in South Africa. Building capacity to bring the confirmatory tests to our molecular lab in Seychelles.