Emergencies preparedness, response

Interregional meeting on prevention and control of plague, Antananarivo, Madagascar, 7-11 April 2006

Organized under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), with scientific support from the Institut Pasteur (IP), Antananarivo, Madagascar, and M. Aikimbayev's Kazakh Scientific Centre for Quarantine and Zoonotic Diseases (KSCQZD), Almaty, Kazakhstan


With the recent re-emergence of plague in Algeria, a major plague outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the spread of natural, animal foci of the disease, the risk of human infection has dramatically increased. In light of these developments and the recurrent problem of underreporting of plague, WHO is convening this meeting to update its recommendations with regard to the present epidemiological situation of the disease, within the framework of the International Health Regulations (2005).

This is the first international technical meeting on plague to be held in the last 6 years. The meeting will be held in Madagascar, a country where plague is endemic and one which has played a key role in the development of new diagnostic tools and strategies to control this disease.

Objectives of the meeting

  • To revise the case definition in accordance with new diagnostic techniques;
  • To develop a decision tree for laboratory confirmation in the field;
  • To update recommendations for case management and prophylaxis;
  • To update recommendations for vector and rodent control.


  • Approximately 70 participants involved in plague surveillance, control, clinical management and research, including at least one representative from each endemic country.


Sessions will be held over a four-day period on:

  • epidemiology;
  • clinical presentation and case management;
  • laboratory diagnosis;
  • vectors and reservoirs; and
  • risk of epidemics in urban settings. A one-day field visit is also planned, along with a half day of discussions and practical exercises.