In Madagascar 4 die of plague

The plague had killed hundreds of people in Madagascar since 2010, mainly in the centre and west of the country.

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Workers look for holes in mosquito netting at the A to Z Textile Mills factory producing insecticide-treated bednets in Arusha, Tanzania play Workers look for holes in mosquito netting at the A to Z Textile Mills factory producing insecticide-treated bednets in Arusha, Tanzania, May 10, 2016. (REUTERS/Katy Migiro)
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The Health Ministry on Wednesday said that four people have died from the plague since Nov. 15 in Southern Befotaka District, in Madagascar.

The Indian Ocean Island State is the country that was most affected by the plague, which killed millions of people in the world in earlier centuries.

The four victims died of bubonic plague, which affects the lymph nodes.

The plague may have been brought to the Befotaka area by rats fleeing forest fires, Health Ministry official Willy Randriamarotia said.

A team of experts from the ministry, the World Health Organisation and the Research Centre Institute Pasteur had been sent to the area.

The plague had killed hundreds of people in Madagascar since 2010, mainly in the centre and west of the country.

This year, 56 cases had been recorded since the end of August, four of whom have now died.

The plague could be cured with antibiotics, but if it affected the lungs, it could be fatal within 24 hours.

The high incidence of the plague in Madagascar had been attributed to a combination of factors, including poor hygiene and health care.