By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
In a follow-up on the plague situation in the health zone of Rethy in Ituri province, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, since the upsurge of cases began in early June 2020, a total of 45 cases including nine deaths (case fatality rate: 20%) have been reported.
Of the 45 cases reported, two showed signs of septicemic plague; all the other cases were diagnosed as having bubonic plague. According to the available information, it is likely that all three types of plague clinical presentation (bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic) are present.
Plague is endemic in Ituri province. Since the beginning of 2020, Ituri Province has reported a total of 64 plague cases and 14 deaths (CFR:21.8%) in five health zones, namely Aungba, Linga, Rethy, Aru and Kambala health zones. This compares against 10 cases and 5 deaths (lethality 50.0%) during the same period in 2019, all in a single zone.
Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. It is found inanimals throughout the world, most commonly rats but other rodents like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, rabbits and voles. Fleas typically serve as the vector of plague.
People can also get infected through direct contact with an infected animal, through inhalation and in the case of pneumonic plague, person to person.
Yersinia pestis is treatable with antibiotics if started early enough.
There are three forms of human plague; bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.
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