By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Officials with the Ecohealth Alliance are reporting a plague cluster in the Ituri endemic focus of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The notification was published on ProMED-mail.

Soon the proventriculus, or esophagogastric junction will become blocked with a bacterial mass preventing the flea from swallowing food.

As of 16 Jun 2020, of the 10 cases (of which 4 deaths were reported), 8 were diagnosed with bubonic plague and 2 were diagnosed with septicemic plague.

The patients come from Bbala village (3),  Zambi village (5) and one each from Dzavikpa village and Kpagboma village.

Plague cases reported again in DRC

The investigation team from the Rethy General Reference Hospital and the Center for Neglected Tropical Diseases is monitoring the outbreak despite the insecurity in the region and the lockdown measures due to COVID-19.

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.

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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.