“The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected persons or wild animals (e.g. monkeys and fruit bats).”
Several hundred people are believed to have been exposed to the virus, which is among the most virulent pathogens known to infect humans.
Early symptoms include fever, chills, headache, and myalgia.
The news comes as Madagascar faces a deadly outbreak of plague, which has already claimed the lives of 127 people.
Cases of the plague have soared in recent days and extra funding has been released by the World Bank to provide additional resources in the face of the “worst outbreak for 50 years”.
The outbreak has been compared with the Black Death, when plague swept across Europe and Asia in the 13th century, killing more than 50 million people in what is now considered one of the worst pandemics in human history.
Two thirds of the recorded cases in Madagascar are caused by the pneumonic plague, which can be spread through coughs and sneezes and without treatment, can kill within 24 hours.
The outbreak has prompted warnings that it could spread to nine nearby countries, including UK holiday hotspots Mauritius and the Seychelles.