Advisory on Plague outbreak in Madagascar

17 October 2017 ,  —


As a consequence of the growing Plague outbreak in Madagascar, we are advising clients to defer non-essential travel to Madagascar until prevention and control activities halt the spread of the outbreak.

The outbreak has affected at least 14 of the 22 regions; especially affected are the highly-populated cities of Antananarivo and Toamasina. The majority of cases are of the pneumonic form of plague which causes life-threatening pneumonia and can be spread from person-to-person contact via droplets in the air. Antibiotics can be lifesaving if started soon after symptoms begin.

A lesser number of bubonic plague cases are also occurring. Bubonic plague is spread by infected fleas from infected rodents. It causes swollen inflamed lymph nodes in the armpit or groin. Antibiotics are required.


If you become ill during or after travel to Madagascar:
• Symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, coughing blood, etc. may indicate that you have contracted pneumonic plague.
• Call International SOS for advice AND seek immediate medical care AND inform your health provider of your travel.
• You may need to start antibiotics urgently.


If you think that you may have been exposed to a person with pneumonic plague:
• Call International SOS for advice AND seek immediate medical care AND inform your health provider of your travel.
• You may need to start antibiotics urgently.


Monitor International SOS Medical information regularly to assess the progress and severity of the outbreak.
For a map of affected areas, click here.

For the latest information and advice, members are advised to register for email alerts and review the travel security updates on Travel Security Online and through the International SOS Membership Portal.

We also advise clients and members to download the International SOS Assistance App, here.

For additional information and advice, members are advised to call their local International SOS Assistance Centre.

Notes to Editors

About the International SOS Group of Companies

The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help you meet compliance reporting needs for good governance. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability.

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