The current outbreak of plague in Madagascar is the country’s worst in “in 50 years” and is expected to spike this weekend, experts have warned. Aid workers on the island predicted this weekend’s annual celebrations to honor the dead will create a further spike in cases of the deadly disease in the coming days as people will have close contact with one another. Health officials have also warned an ancient ritual, called Famadihana, where relatives dig up the corpses of their loved ones, may be fuelling the

spread. So far, Madagascar has recorded 1,801 cases of infection so far – three times the average amount – and the season has another six months to run with experts branding the outbreak the “worst for 50 years”. There have been 127 recorded plague deaths, with most cases caused by the airborne pneumonic plague, which is spread via coughing, sneezing or spitting and can be lethal within 24 hours if untreated. READ MORE