Here's another find from Lucie Lecomte. Via the blog Tsimok'i Gasikara, a December 13 report from Le Parisien.fr: Madagascar: plague has killed 39. This explains that rat infestation is a consequence not only of deforestation but of a Malagasy form of political protest. Excerpt from a Google translation:
Eighty-six people have caught the disease and 39 have died since September with more than twenty recent days. This health problem that arises during the election campaign, fueling a socio-economic instability that the crisis drags policy since 2009 has not arranged.
Malagasy to the polls Friday, December 20 for the second round of the presidential election coupled with legislative.
The epidemic, which covers five districts of 119, is spread by rats pushed houses including uncontrolled deforestation of the island, in a country ravaged by poverty and a locust invasion unprecedented this year. A doctor Branch of Health in Antananarivo, the capital, said that 90% of cases took the form of pneumonic plague which is more serious than the more common form, bubonic plague or Black Death, because it can kill three days. It can also be spread through the air from person to person by inhaling droplets coughed up by patients.
The first death reported a few weeks later
The first death occurred in a village in the forest 150 kilometers from the town of Mandritsara (north), accessible by bike and on foot. The person died before November, but his death was officially declared on November 23. The department has invited the public to "consult in case of fever, headache." "There are drugs to treat this disease and treatment is free," said he added. Antibiotics treat infection.
Highly political bushfires
"This year there is an increase in bushfires," according to the Director General of Forests Ministry of Environment Jean Claude Rabemanantsoa. Because of the drought, some young fashion ignite the bush after drinking, he said. In addition, he said, "we are at election time" and "Madagascar, bushfires can be used as a form of political expression."
Phenomenon that most surprised the Malagasy themselves, farmers have become accustomed for many years to burn the vegetation when they are unhappy with insecurity, cost of living, etc.
Measures taken with WHO
Moreover, "with rain and garbage piling up, it attracts rats in cities and villages," added the official. Antananarivo, where no cases of plague have been recorded, is buried in garbage so that the Delegation of the European Union has launched emergency sanitation measures for low-lying areas of the city, often flooded, the capital itself being surrounded by rice fields.