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Madagascar plague spreading from relatives digging up their dead and DANCING with the corpses as part of ancient ritual

Madagascar plague spreading from relatives digging up their dead and DANCING with the corpses as part of ancient ritual

THE SUN – DANNY COLLINS/PHOTO CREDIT: NH53

RELATIVES dancing with the corpses of their loved ones are helping to spread the plague, officials have warned.

Madagascans have been told to stop the traditional practice of Famadihana – which sees locals dig up deceased relatives and dance with them before they are re-buried.

It is feared the ceremony has helped spread an outbreak of pneumonic plague that has left more than 120 dead on the African island.

The country’s health chief Willy Randriamarotia said: “If a person dies of pneumonic plague and is then interred in a tomb that is subsequently opened for a Famadihana, the bacteria can still be transmitted and contaminate whoever handles the body.”

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