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20 dead in suspected plague outbreak in Madagascar

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) — Local authorities in Madagascar say 20 people have died since last week because of what they suspect to be an outbreak of bubonic plague.

Police in the northwestern district of Mandritsara said Wednesday the deceased could not be treated in time. They say more than 20 others suspected of being infected are currently receiving treatment.

Madagascar's Health Ministry says the outbreak is not yet confirmed pending analyses of samples by the country's Pasteur Institute research facility.

The health research institute could not immediately be reached.

The plague, known as the Black Death, killed millions in Europe in the Middle Ages but is now extremely rare and can be treated. It is carried by bacteria that primarily are carried by wild rodents.

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