By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the plague situation in the Ituri endemic focus of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Djugu territory, officials with Ecohealth Alliance said in a post on ProMED-mail that the cases have risen to 29 (17 female, 12 male) with 6 deaths (CFR = 0.2).

Bipolar staining of a plague smear prepared from lymph aspirated from an adenopathic lymph node, or bubo, of a plague patient./CDC

Patients are now reported from 10 villages in 5 health areas (Kpandroma 2 cases, Lokpa 23, Ngri Balo 1, Rassia 2 and Uketha 1) located within the Rethy Health zone.

An investigation team been pursuing contact tracing, ensuring dignified and safe burials, and taking care of chemoprophylaxis distribution; however, multiple factors including militia in the region have slowed down and impaired a swift response.

There are concerns the situation could evolve into a into a pneumonic plague outbreak.