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The managing administrator of the Kalonge health zone in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) confirmed nine people have contracted anthrax in the Kalonge group in Kalehe territory in South Kivu.

Image by Vantage Point Graphics from Pixabay

It infections are linked to the consumption of guinea pig, according to a 7SUR7 report.

Among these nine people affected, two died. The other seven are receiving treatment in local medical facilities.

Jules Bahati reassures that this disease is already under control and the health of these seven other people is progressing well.

Local civil society actor, Shasha Rubenga said, “Among these 9 cases, 2 died, including a boy and a girl. The others were taken to hospital. Health experts recommend people stop using guinea pigs that are over 5 years old”, he said.

You may be asking, “Consuming guinea pigs?”

According to the non-governmental, non-profit organization, People in Need:

A popular approach to combating malnutrition is through guinea pig farming. These furry creatures offer a much-needed source of protein as well as micronutrients and can increase household food security more rapidly than conventional livestock such as pigs and chickens. Furthermore, they are small and easy to hide and thus well suited to conflict zones, where extreme poverty and widespread lawlessness mean that the looting of larger domestic livestock is commonplace. The animals have other advantages: they can be fed kitchen waste and are a relatively low-cost investment compared to other livestock. Crucially, they reproduce quickly, with females giving birth to multiple litters that total 10 to 15 offspring per year. Another advantage is that they also suffer from fewer diseases than pigs, chickens or rabbits. Plus, in the event of disease outbreaks, their high reproduction rate means populations have a much shorter recovery time.

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