Global Alert and Response (GAR)

2002 - Plague in India

20 February 2002

Disease Outbreak Reported

As of 19 February 2002, the Ministry of Health, India has reported a total of 16 cases of pneumonic plague including 4 deaths in Hat Koti village, Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh state, since the onset of the outbreak on 4 February 2002.  The series of tests carried out by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirm the presence of Yersinia pestis in clinical samples.

A team from the NICD visited the village, and found that all the cases could be linked to residents of one hamlet.  Under the  guidance of the team, the local health administration has taken the following measures: administration of chemoprophylaxis to contacts of the patients, to residents of the affected and neighbouring village and to doctors/paramedics and health workers; fumigation in the affected villages and transport vehicles; public education campaign.

The last reported case had a date of onset of 8 February. Careful surveillance in the area and in the state is continuing.

WHO recommends no special restrictions on travel or trade to or from India.