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Fighting pneumonic plague on Madagascar

In August 2017, Madagascar saw the beginning of a major outbreak of pneumonic plague – a form of the disease that can easily be passed from one human to another and ends in death if it untreated. On request from the World Health Organisation, two RKI experts travelled to Madagascar at the end of October to support the local WHO team in fighting the outbreak. Together with their African colleagues they trained doctors and nurses to recognise the signs and symptoms of pneumonic plague, investigated cases of suspected plague and tracked down contact persons. They also helped to distribute medicines, personal protective equipment and rapid diagnostic tests for plague. As of end of November 2017, the outbreak is under control; however, the current plague season is not yet at an end on Madagascar. Learn more about RKI’s support in the following photo story.

Date: 09.01.2018

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What we do

The Robert Koch Institute is the public health institute in Germany. Around 1,080 people including 450 scientists work here. Learn more about the tasks and projects of the institute’s departments and units.

International Activities

International Activities

The Robert Koch Institute is a global health hub. The institute cooperates closely with partner countries and institution from all over the world in order to investigate pathogens, tackle outbreaks, provide reliable diagnostics, train staff and more.

Museum at RKI

Museum at RKI

On 180 m², the exhibition shows objects of Robert Koch's life and work and presents today's research at the institute. The Mausoleum containing Robert Koch's ashes can also be visited. The Museum is open from Monday to Friday, admission is free.

Health reporting

Health reporting

Robert Koch Institute's federal health reporting continuously informs about the health status of people in Germany - in various reports as well as in the Journal of Public Health (available also in English).

Virus Explorer image database

Virus Explorer image database

The Virus Explorer for diagnostic electron microscopy (DEM) is an offline database by RKI containing images of viruses relevant in infectious diseases of humans. It can be used for diagnostic as well as training and teaching purposes.

German Centre for Cancer Registry Data

German Centre for Cancer Registry Data

The German Centre for Cancer Registry Data at RKI combines, checks and analyses data from the population-based cancer registries of the German federal states.