Medieval plague could be spreading to Europe

PLEA: The World Health Organisation said it needs £3 million to stop the plague spreading

Black Death plague: WHO begs for £3million ‘fighting fund’ to stop GLOBAL OUTBREAK

THE deadly plague outbreak gripping Madagascar could still spread, according to the World Health Organisation which needs £3million to prevent more deaths.

At least 165 have been killed by the “medival disease” with an estimated 2,000 infected.

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Infection and immunity expert Dr Matthew Avison, of the University of Bristol, this week told Daily Star Online the health crisis is likely to “get worse before it gets better”.

Doctors have issued warnings about a new strain of the airborne disease which “can kill in three hours”, local reports say.

And now the World Health Organisation has said it needs £3million to stop the black death’s spread.

An update from WHO said: “While progress has been made to control the outbreak of plague in Madagascar, the possibility of future flare-ups cannot be ruled out.

“Notwithstanding the financial support and contributions from partners, WHO urgently requires an additional $4million (£3m) to sustain response operations in the next three months of the plague outbreak in Madagascar.

“The funding is needed to interrupt ongoing transmission, provide care for those affected by the disease, reduce the risk of international spread and provide effective coordination and operations support.”

All schools in the country had been disinfected and 8,000 community leaders had been trained to spot signs of the disease.

Antibiotics can cure the disease if given to patients quickly.

But scientists are worried about the disease becoming resistant to antibiotics and therefore increasing the risk of death.

Disease expert Paul Hunter, from University of East Anglia, previously told Daily Star Online that the more antibiotics are used to treat the illness, the more ineffective they’ll become.

“As with any disease, it’s a real worry that it mutates and become untreatable,” he said.

“If it reaches the UK, Europe or the US it would be similar to the Ebola outbreak.

“We would probably have a few isolated cases but it shouldn’t spread like it has in Madagascar.”The airborne pneumonic plague can be spread by coughing, sneezing, spitting and other contact with bodily fluids.

It is related to the Black Death which killed around 200 million people in Europe and Asia between 1346 and 1353.

Officials from WHO warned there is a risk the disease could spread to other continents.

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