'Every few years, the media stirs up fear of another pandemic to coincide with a new vaccine and fairly totalitarian measures from hospitals and governments. In 2009 the hype was about the swine flu, then came Ebola in 2014, and now it appears that the plague may be the next big scare to get people rushing back to their doctors, afraid of another outbreak.
Africa is usually the place where outbreaks start due to lower hygiene and closer contact with wild animals, which makes it no surprise that Madagascar has become the origin of this particular incident of plague. According to the World Health Organization, the number of deaths from plague in Madagascar was roughly 165 in mid-November after climbing from 30 since early October. So far 2,000 people have been infected, according to CNN.
Neighboring Countries Still on Alert – But Western Countries Shouldn’t Worry
Several neighboring countries of Madagascar are still on Alert for plague. Those nine countries include Ethiopia, Kenya, Comoros, Mozambique, Reunion island, Mauritius, Saychelles, Tanzania, and South Africa, either because they are in close proximity to, or due to trade links with Madagascar.
Even though neighboring countries in Africa are on alert, there is currently no need to panic if you live in a Western country. Usually, the outbreaks which start in Africa cause very minimal damage in America and Europe, however the media hype surrounding them is typically more massive in those countries than anywhere else in the world. For example, although during the Ebola outbreak only one American had died, it was possibly the most sensationalized media story in the country in 2014.'
Read more: Beware of Media-Induced Panic of the Plague as the Next Big Pandemic
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