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WHO has sent 1.2 million doses of antibiotics to Madagascar to fight plague outbreak

iodrakon/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The World Health Organization has delivered 1.2 million doses of antibiotics and provided $1.5 million in emergency funds to fight an outbreak of plague in Madagascar.

The Madagascar Ministry of Health has reported more than 200 infections and 33 deaths since August. The majority of those cases are associated with pneumonic plague, a more deadly form of the disease, which can be transmitted through coughing.

"Plague is curable if detected in time," Dr. Charlotte Ndiaye, WHO Representative in Madagascar said. "Our teams are working to ensure that everyone at risk has access to protection and treatment. The faster we move, the more lives we save."

The WHO has provided drugs for both curative and prohpylactic care. With another 244,000 doses expected in the coming weeks, the agency says it has provided sufficient medication to treat 5,000 patients and protect 100,000 more who may be exposed.

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