Author(s): Bertherat E, Bekhoucha S, Chougrani S, Razik F, Duchemin JB,
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Abstract An outbreak of plague occurred in the region of Oran, Algeria, from June to July 2003. Algeria had not reported this disease for >50 years. Eighteen bubonic cases were identified, and Yersinia pestis was isolated from 6 patients. Except for the index case-patient, all patients recovered. Targeted chemoprophylaxis, sanitation, and vector control played a crucial role in controlling the outbreak. Epidemiologic and biomolecular findings strongly suggested the existence of a local animal reservoir during this period, but its origin (resurgence or re-importation) could not be determined. This sudden and unexpected reemergence of plague, close to an important commercial seaport, is a textbook illustration of a public health event of international importance. It also demonstrates that the danger of plague reoccurrence is not limited to the currently indexed natural foci.
This article was published in Emerg Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals