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 October 20, 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 October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

AFP (Oct. 19, 2014) Tens of thousands of runners battled thick smog at the Beijing Marathon on Sunday, with some donning masks as the levels of PM2.5 small pollutant particles soared to 16 times the maximum recommended level. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Would A Travel Ban Even Work In Stopping Ebola Spread?

Would A Travel Ban Even Work In Stopping Ebola Spread?

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) The U.S. currently isn't banning travel from Ebola-stricken areas, but it's at least being considered. Some argue though it could be counterproductive. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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