Bubonic plague claims 32 lives in Madagascar

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) — Health officials say 32 people have died as a result of an outbreak of bubonic plague in the African island state of Madagascar.

Some 84 suspected cases of bubonic plague — 60 of them suspected of being pneumonic or pulmonary plague, a more virulent strain of the disease — have been reported in five of the island's 112 districts in the past month.

Last year, Madagascar reported 60 deaths from bubonic plague. Poor hygiene and declining living standards as a result of a protracted political crisis since a coup in 2009 are cited as the primary causes of the spread of the disease.

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