The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says systems are in place to detect the Black Death plague in South Africa. This follows outbreaks of three types of plague in Madagascar.
The World Health Organisation has placed South Africa under review for the bacterial infection.
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, claiming up to 200 million lives in the 14th century. Named for the black patches caused by bleeding under the skin, the plague is carried by fleas that live on rats.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says it can be treated if picked up early enough. Without early detection, plague could lead to lung infection and a rapid progression of pneumonia. Madagascar is the only African country to have had numerous outbreaks of the disease.
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