PRO/EAFR> Plague - Libya: (Al Butnan) susp, RFI

promed-eafr at promed-eafr at
Wed Jun 1 15:58:12 UTC 2011

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Sun 29 May 2011
Source: [in Arabic, trans. Corr.SB, edited]

The emergence of several infectious diseases, including plague, has
been reported in the Libyan city of Tobruk. A medical source at the
city's central hospital, said that at least 4 cases [of plague] have
been isolated at the medical hospital.

There are 17 other cases which are undergoing medical tests on
suspicion of being infected with the disease, said the medical
source, who preferred anonymity. The state of panic which has hit the
city is not the first, as in mid-June 2009, there was an outbreak of
bubonic plague on the outskirts of Tobruk, which resulted in deaths.

The source added that the Egyptian authorities are taking necessary
action on the Egyptian-Libyan border to prevent the transmission of
the disease into Egypt.

An official quarantine [has been imposed] at the alternate port of
Salloum. The fear of the spread of the disease in Egypt will be the
biggest focus with the re-emergence of the disease plague, and this
has contributed to the lawlessness taking place on the
Libyan-Egyptian border at the moment.

The border city of Tobruk is experiencing many difficulties in the
field of health services because it has lost contact with the
capital, Tripoli, since the start of the revolution on 17 Feb 2011.

[Byline: Mahmoud Nasr]

Communicated by:
<promed-eafr at>

[This report points to a possible outbreak of plague in the Libyan
City of Tobruk. Given the current crisis in the country, an outbreak
of plague is possible given the worsening living conditions which may
expose persons to fleas harboring the bacterial_Yersinia pestis_.
The natural reservoirs for the bacteria include several species of
rats which may gain access to human habitats during periods of
emergency and hence expose humans to the disease.

Further information on the plague manifestations during this
outbreak, the results of laboratory testing, as well as the
conditions under which most people were exposed will be appreciated.

The city of Tobruk can be located via the HealthMap/ProMED-mail
interactive map of Libya at<>. - Mod.JFW]

[see also:
Plague, pneumonic - Madagascar (02) 20110331.220426
Plague, pneumonic - Madagascar: (Antsiranana) 20110222.218612
Plague, Pneumonic - Uganda (Northern Districts) 20101208.215968
Plague - Uganda: (Nebbi) averting an imminent outbreak 20091028.203338
Plague - Congo DR: (OR) 20090928.202744
Plague, bubonic - Uganda: (Arua, Nebbi), 2008 20090715.200579

[Additional background information on plague is available from the
general ProMED-mail list. The postings below can be found at
<>. - Mod.JFW]

[Plague, bubonic - Libya: (BN) 20110531.1669
Plague, bubonic - Libya (02): (BN) 20090703.2397
Plague, bubonic - Libya: (BN) 20090616.2227
Plague, fatal - Algeria (04): NOT 20090206.0534
Plague, fatal - Algeria 20090119.0237]

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