Plague – Congo The Democratic Republic Of The
The Fataki district in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reports their first case of the plague in a decade.
The Ituri province of the DRC reported a total of 117 suspected cases of bubonic and pulmonary plague and 13 deaths.
This case is linked to the increase of rain during this season, which can increase the amount of plague bacillus and rodent fleas to spread the plague.
Photo: Yersinia pestis, Direct Fluorescent Antibody Stain
Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Symptoms include fever, weakness and headache. Usually this begins one to seven days after exposure. In the bubonic form there is also swelling of lymph nodes, while in the septicemic form tissues may turn black and die, and in the pneumonic form shortness of breath, cough and chest pain may occur.
Bubonic and septicemic plague are generally spread by flea bites or handling an infected animal. The pneumonic form is generally spread between people through the air via infectious droplets.
Plague has historically occurred in large outbreaks, with the best known being the Black Death in the 14th century which resulted in greater than 50 million dead.
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