Gruesome Ritual with the Dead Poses Threat of Plague in Madagascar (Video)
The authorities of Madagascar urged citizens to give up the ritual of Famadihana, which is a dance of the dead, because of the plague epidemic.
The authorities are desperately trying to stop a deadly epidemic of plague in Africa that threatens nine countries. Two-thirds of all 1300 cases in Madagascar are of the heaviest form - this is the "deadliest and fastest form of plague", according to data from the World Health Organization.
The sickness is caused by the same bacteria that killed at least 50 million people in Europe in the 14th century, known as Black Death.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) data from 1 August to 20 October, nearly 1300 cases of suspected plague have been reported in Madagascar, with 300 confirmed by laboratory tests. So far, 124 people have died, CNN reported. The plague has spread to 37 of 114 island regions located in the Indian Ocean, east of Africa.
Famadihana is a ritual ceremony for the worship of the dead.
The dead are taken out of the graves, the cloth around them is changed, they are wrapped, they take their hands and dance with them. Finally, they return them back to the graves.
According to local beliefs, man passes into the afterlife only when his body is completely decomposed, and until then he must periodically be "shaken," and talk to relatives.
The plague is caused by an infection with Yersinia pestis bacteria. Symptoms include painful, swollen lymph nodes, fever, cough. The incubation period is short and the infected person may die within 12 to 24 hours.
Seychelles, South Africa and La Réunion, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, the Comoros and Mauritius are at risk. 50 health workers are also infected, reported Daily Mail.
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