NewsDesk @bactiman63

On 04 April 2022, the Provincial Health Division (DPS) of the province of Ituri declared a resurgence of the Bubonic Plague epidemic in the health zone of Rethy, in the territory of Djugu.

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

From 27 Mar 2022 to 26 Jun 2022, 91 days of the epidemic, the health zone of Rethy, located in Djugu territory, Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), continues to report plague cases. A total of 351 suspected cases of plague have been reported, representing an attack rate of 0.14% with 5 deaths (case fatality rate 1.4%).

So far, the most affected health area is Lokpa with 80.9% of cases, followed by Rassia 7.6% and Uketha 7.4%. The majority of people who have contracted the plague are in the age group >5 years (302 cases, 86%) compared with 13.9% (49 cases) among those <5 years, with an average age of 16 years. The bubonic form is dominant — 99.7% — with 0.3% of cases being the pulmonary form.

The health zone is faced with problems of stock shortages of drugs for the care of patients.

Apart from this need, explains this doctor, the medical profession lacks protective equipment as well as other needs.

Plague is endemic in Ituri province. Most patients recorded as suspected cases present symptomatology of fever, lymph nodes, and headache, and these lymph nodes are mostly inguinal, submaxillary, axillary, jugular, and cervical.

Ituri is the only province in DRC to record plague cases and the border countries familiar with the disease in the context of population movement inside the country with other health areas and across the border still make this area very vulnerable to a resurgence of the epidemic.