Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plague Remains A Threat In Many Parts Of The World

Date:
January 16, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Although plague is often thought of as a disease of the past, it remains a current threat in many parts of the world, and the number of countries reporting plague has increased in recent decades, says a team of researchers. Following the re-appearance of plague in the 1990s, particularly in Africa, the disease has been classified as re-emerging.

Annual number of human plague cases over different continents, reported to WHO in the period 954--2005.
Credit: WHO, Courtesy Stenseth NC, Atshabar BB, Begon M, Belmain SR, Bertherat E, et al.

Although plague is often thought of as a disease of the past, it remains a current threat in many parts of the world, and the number of countries reporting plague has increased in recent decades, says a team of researchers.

Following the re-appearance of plague in the 1990s, particularly in Africa, the disease has been classified as re-emerging, say Nils Stenseth (Dept of Biology, University of Oslo, Norway) and colleagues. The plague bacillus, Yersinia pestis, causes several thousand human cases per year.

Over recent years, there has been a major shift in cases from Asia to Africa, with more than 90% of all cases and deaths in the last five years occurring in Madagascar, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Most are cases of bubonic plague contracted through contact with infected rodents and fleas, although outbreaks of pneumonic plague (directly transmitted from human to human via inhalation of infected respiratory droplets) still occur.

The most recent large pneumonic plague outbreak was in October and November 2006 in DRC, with hundreds of suspected cases, and a smaller outbreak arose just across the border in nearby Uganda in February 2007.

"Plague may not match the so-called 'big three' diseases (malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis) in numbers of current cases," say the authors, "but it far exceeds them in pathogenicity and rapid spread under the right conditions."

"It is easy to forget plague in the 21st century, seeing it as a historical curiosity. But in our opinion, plague should not be relegated to the sidelines. It remains a poorly understood threat that we cannot afford to ignore."

Citation: Stenseth NC, Atshabar BB, Begon M, Belmain SR, Bertherat E, et al. (2008) Plague: Past, present, and future. PLoS Med 5(1):e3.http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050003


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Plague Remains A Threat In Many Parts Of The World." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114213228.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, January 16). Plague Remains A Threat In Many Parts Of The World. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114213228.htm
Public Library of Science. "Plague Remains A Threat In Many Parts Of The World." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114213228.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins