A World Health Organization (WHO) partner laboratory in Paris, France, tested this week samples from patients from Seychelles suspected to be ill with pneumonic plague and returned negative results.
The Seychelles Ministry of Health and WHO shipped the 10 samples to the collaborating centre for Yersinia at the Institut Pasteur to confirm the status of several suspected and one probable case, a 34-year-old Seychelles national who had returned from Madagascar with plague-like symptoms.
Madagscar is currently experiencing an outbreak that has killed more than 70 people since August. WHO is working with the Seychelles health authorities to prevent the spread of the plague. No plague cases in the Seychelles have been confirmed.
WHO has provided support for laboratory testing to the island country and deployed experts and medical supplies. The organization is also providing guidance for the tracing and treatment of suspected cases.
“We are working with health authorities to reduce the risk of the spread of plague in the Seychelles by improving surveillance and preparedness,” Ibrahima Soce Fall, WHO regional emergencies director for the Africa region, said.
WHO is advising the Government of Seychelles on the use of public health measures in accordance with the WHO International Health Regulations, including increased surveillance, isolation and treatment of suspect cases, contact tracing, and prophylactic treatment of potential contacts.
According to WHO, the risk of spread of plague in Seychelles is low.