Plague may have transited Nairobi airport, serving 20,000 passengers a day
(Fox News) A likely case of plague in the Seychelles is believed to have sparked the Indian Ocean country’s first outbreak of the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. The case was imported by a traveler returning from Madagascar.
Plague is endemic in Madagascar. A large outbreak has killed 57 people since late August.
Seychelles authorities reported a probable case of pneumonic plague on Oct 10 in a 34-year-old man returning from a visit to Madagascar.
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“The patient continues to be hospitalized in isolation until completion of the antibiotic treatment. He is currently asymptomatic and in stable condition,” the WHO said.
[Authorities have not disclosed how the infected patient got to Seychelles from Madagascar, possibly due to ‘privacy’ concerns; international flights between the island nations were suspended on Oct 8. However it is know that Madagascar-to-Seychelles passengers frequently change planes in Nairobi, Kenya. Airlines providing direct international, to Nairobi include Emirates, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, KLM, Qatar Airways, American Airlines, Delta, United and more. – Editor]
Nearly 1,000 people who were exposed to the man or his close circle were given antibiotics to prevent infection and spread. They included children, teachers, passengers, flight crew and health workers.
“Air Seychelles flights to-from Madagascar were stopped from 8 October to reduce likelihood of further importation of cases from Madagascar,” the WHO said. However, the WHO did not recommend restrictions on travel or trade.