Streams

The Black Plague Returns

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Researchers in a laboratory in the Madagascan capital Antananarivo in Sept. 2004. The Pasteur Institute of Madagascar hosted training for scientists from 9 other African counties with plague. Researchers in a laboratory in the Madagascan capital Antananarivo in Sept. 2004. The Pasteur Institute of Madagascar hosted training for scientists from 9 other African counties with plague. (AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

Madagascar reports the more instances of the black plague—yes that black plague—than any other place on the planet. And although the disease is easily treatable with antibiotics, plague still kills people in Madagascar. A 2013 outbreak sickened 600 people and caused more than 90 deaths. Vice senior editor Benjamin Shapiro traveled to the country to investigate the shocking persistence of this disease and why little is being done about it. His article is  "The Hot Zone."

 

Guests:

Benjamin Shapiro

Comments [3]

Nick in Queens from Queens, NY

It's a small but important distinction: the phenomenon that occurred in the Middle Ages is called the "Black Death" not the "Black Plague". People in the Middle Ages did not only or primarily think on terms of disease (as we do now) but were attempting to describe the experience. That experience was mass mortality-death, it was death that led to the important social, economic, and cultural revolutions of the fourteenth century.

Aug. 07 2014 01:51 PM
anon

The guest mentioned the Bubonic Plague entered Madagascar via a port. Did the Plague also spread to other Indian Ocean ports?

Aug. 07 2014 01:50 PM
Ed from Larchmont

More bad news. With Ebola on the march, now the Bubonic Plague if back. I think it's the Liberian president who just declared a state of emergency and that 'the country itself is at risk'. The plagues of Egypt.

Aug. 07 2014 11:16 AM

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