Pharmacies are running out of stock in Madagascar as the pneumonic plague has already claimed five in barely two weeks.
The Ministry of Health has called on people with even the slightest symptoms to go to the nearest health centers for care.
People who have been in contact with the sick will be treated free of charge.
According to a newspaper, the current plague outbreak in Toamasina is already at 360+ cases and 7 deaths.
Population getting kinda panicked.— Erkhyan Samoelison (@Erkhyan) September 14, 2017
Malagasy student Franck Tsilavomandimby is among the hundreds who rushed to clinics this week.
“I bought Cotrim to protect myself against the plague because at the moment everyone is talking about it in Tamatave. There have been a lot of deaths there and my family and friends are buying the medicine to protect themselves”, he said.
The initial patient died in a taxi on August 28, trying to reach Tamatave.
While on transit, two passengers came into contact with him, and died of the infection less than 24 hours later in Antananarivo.
5 killed by plague in Madagascar – Outbreak of pneumonic plague sees 22 suspected cases, but officials say it i… https://t.co/42HLg4eDVT— Zyite.com (@zyiteblog) September 15, 2017
Willy Randriamarotia is the chief of cabinet of Madagascar’s ministry of public health.
“As soon as we were able to identify all the cases, all the sites, all the homes, I think, with the ripostes that have been made since Monday, we are doing well and that we will be able to control this epidemic and not have any more cases of death”, Randriamarotia explained.
A plague has broken out almost every year in Madagascar since 1980.
In man, the bubonic form can be treated using antibiotics if diagnosed early enough.
But the pneumonic form, transmitted through cough, turns fatal in only 24 to 72 hours.