Bubonic Plague Kills 20 in Madagascar

After claiming 25 million lives in the Middle Ages, the Black Death is back

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Alexander Joe / AFP / Getty Images

A market 16 March 2000 in the Anosibe slum area with very bad sanitation in the capital Antananarivo.

At least 20 people in a remote village in Madagascar died amid an outbreak of bubonic plague last week.

In October, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned that the island-nation was at risk of an epidemic of the disease, which is spread by unsanitary conditions. During the political crisis that followed the 2009 coup, living standards in the country have drastically deteriorated, reports the BBC.

Suffering 60 casualties last year, Madagascar became the world’s worst-hit country by the disease known as Black Death in the Middle Ages, when it killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe.

After medical experts confirmed the recent deaths, health officials have now gone to the area to investigate.