An outbreak of the plague in Madagascar is spreading at unprecedented rates. The outbreak started in August and is continuing to spread.
Most recently on October 12, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported more than 680 cases and nearly 60 deaths.
“Due to the increased risk of further spread and the severe nature of the disease, the overall risk at the national level is considered very high,” WHO reported.
As a result the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint has chosen to relocate missionaries in the Madagascar are. They issued the following statement:
Due to the emerging outbreak of plague in Madagascar, as a precautionary measure, the missionaries serving on the island of Madagascar are in the process of being transferred out of this area or temporarily reassigned to other missions. The missionaries from the Madagascar Antananarivo Mission who are serving on the islands of Mauritius and Reunion will remain. A total of 69 missionaries are being relocated or reassigned. An additional ten missionaries who are nearing the end of their mission service will return home.
The Church says so far there are no reports of any sick missionaries:
Ensuring the health and safety of our missionaries is our top priority. In recent weeks measures have been taken to reduce risk to missionaries, including providing them with prescription medication to help prevent plague and asking them to remain in their apartments. There are no reports of illness among the missionaries. Families are being notified as the missionaries are temporarily reassigned. This is a very challenging situation for the missionaries, members and citizens of these countries, and we are taking every practical step to reduce risk and praying for their health and safety.
There is no vaccine available to prevent plague. To learn more about the plague and how to prevent it and for more on this outbreak, click here.