Worrisome news about Madagascar and the possibility in South Africa…”Fake news” or reality?…

More than 1,300 cases have now been reported in Madagascar, health chiefs have revealed, as nearby nations have been placed on high alert
This map of Africa illustrates where the high-risk areas for bubonic plague are located.  We intend to be in South Africa beginning in February and also Mozambique and other countries in order to renew our visa status.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

Tom’s early morning view of the moon setting in the horizon, taken from the veranda.

When I stumbled across the headline below we immediately began to research the accuracy and validity of such claims that the eastern coast of Africa would likely fall prey to the ravages of the bubonic plague over the next months. 

With our plan to arrive in South Africa on or about February 10, 2018, that’s only 98 days from today.  With the outbreak affecting over 1800 lives on the island of Madagascar as shown on the above map, of course, this is a concern to us.

Our concerns aren’t necessarily revolving around the time we’ll spend in Kruger National Park or in living in Marloth Park which is remote and fairly isolated but more so in traveling through busy airports such as in Johannesburg which is a required stopping point in order to fly to Mpumalanga/Nelspruit our destination.

Here is the article we first spotted setting the research in motion from site:

Deadly plague epidemic in Madagascar is now at ‘crisis’ point and could reach mainland Africa where it will be ‘difficult to control’, warns expert as World Bank releases $5M of aid

  • Cases of the plague have spiraled by 37 percent in less than a week, data shows
  • The World Health Organization now states that there are 1,801 suspected cases 
  • At least 127 deaths have been recorded, but experts warn this could also rocket 
  • The ‘unprecedented’ outbreak has prompted warnings in nine nearby countries
  • World Bank released an extra $5 million (£3.8m) to control the deadly outbreak

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5046017/World-Bank-responds-calls-help-battle-plague.html#ixzz4xTb2JSg9
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

While we’re spending about a year in Africa we plan to visit various countries to fulfill our goals of many yet-to-be-seen aspects of this vast and fascinating continent.  Most likely, this will be the last time we’ll visit the continent in our world travels.  We still have more “fish to fry.”

A boy covers his mouth as a council worker sprays disinfectant during the clean-up of the market in the Anosibe district, one of the most unsalubrious districts of Antananarivo.
Street scene in Madagascar during the plague.  (Not our photo).

Visiting Africa is not for the faint of heart and may be more challenging as we age. We’re saving all the less challenging locations in other parts of the world for the distant future including a number of cruises we’ll easily enjoy well into our 80’s health providing. 

The research took us in many directions where finally, we landed at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in the US which we’ve used on many occasions in the past in regard to health conditions in countries throughout the world.

Although we don’t necessarily believe what every governmental agency espouses, we’ve found the CDC to be less prone to exaggeration, fluff, and fake news.  We found this recent article as to what’s transpiring in Madagascar and how it may have an effect on travelers to Africa.

Based on this article by the CDC, at this point, we don’t see a reason to change our plans, although we have decided to purchase face masks to wear while at airports or public areas as we travel through the continent should the plague spread to countries we’re visiting.  We’ll purchase them today to arrive at our mailing service to be shipped to the hotel in Florida where we’ll arrive on November 22nd.

People queue at a pharmacy in downtown Antananarivo, Madagascar to buy protection masks against infections and medicines against plague on Monday, October 2.
Locals outside a pharmacy in Madagascar. (Not our photo).

As we’ve often mentioned in past posts, there is no country, city, village our countryside in the world that is exempt from the risk of one type or another.  Whether its infectious disease, crime-related risks or heinous acts of terrorism, we always proceed with the utmost of sensibility and caution which in itself is no guaranty of safety.

May your day find you safe from harm.


Photo from one year ago today, November 4, 2016:

One year ago today, we stood on our cabin’s veranda awaiting the arrival of this medevac helicopter to transport a heart attack patient from the ship to an appropriate hospital.  For more photos, please click here.