THE deadly plague outbreak ravaging Madagascar is continuing to spread with almost 2,000 people now infected with the disease.
Official WHO (World Health Organization) figures show some 143 people have been killed by the Black Death – an outbreak of which notoriously killed off one third of medieval Europe.
The plague, which is airborne and spreading via coughing and sneezing, has been ripping through the east African nation since August.
In the past week alone it has spread by eight percent, and experts warn it is the worst outbreak in 50 years with 1,947 total cases so far.
WHO also reports the plague has reached 73 per cent of the country.
The outbreak is considered a much bigger threat to the region than in previous years because it has taken on its more deadly pneumonic form.
It comes after Sun Online revealed plague warnings have been issued for nine countries surrounding Madagascar.
Dr Ashok Chopra, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas, was the first to warn it could spread abroad.
Last week he told Sun Online: "If they are travelling shorter distances and they're still in the incubation period, and they have the pneumonic (form) then they could spread it to other places.
"We don't want to have a situation where the disease spreads so fast it sort of gets out of control.
"If the treatment is not given in a very short period of time these people will end up dying."
WHO is warning the outbreak is expected to continue until around April next year.
Last week we also revealed how relatives dancing with the CORPSES of their infected loved ones are helping to spread the disease.
Madagascans have been told to stop the traditional practice of Famadihana – which sees locals dig up deceased relatives and dance with them before they are re-buried.
The country's health chief Willy Randriamarotia said: "If a person dies of pneumonic plague and is then interred in a tomb that is subsequently opened for a Famadihana, the bacteria can still be transmitted and contaminate whoever handles the body."
The tradition has been banned since the outbreak began, but it is feared ceremonies have taken place regardless.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 782 4368 . We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.'