Agence France-Presse
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The death toll from Madagascar has reached 143 with a total of 2,000 infected as it rapidly spreads through the African nation.

Health officials have warned this is the “worst outbreak in 50 years”.

Disease experts have also said that if the virus mutates, the epidemic will get much worse.

According to Daily Star Online, disease outbreak expert Professor Paul Hunter said that the disease could be contained if it arrived in Europe but the worry would be if the plague became resistant to antibiotics.

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The airborne pneumonic plague can be spread by coughing, sneezing, spitting and other contact with bodily fluids.

The World Health Organisation has said this current outbreak is “different” to that seen before.

Nine countries are now on high alert amid fears the disease could go global.

Pneumonic plague – a relative of the Black Death – can kill in as little as 24 hours.

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