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Plague in D R of Congo

16th October 2006

Reports are emerging of a suspected outbreak of pneumonic plague which has killed dozens of people in two health zones in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The cases were reported in Haut-Uele district, the majority reported from Wamba health zone in Oriental province in the northern part of the country.

Six hundred and twenty-six suspected cases including 42 deaths have been reported from 31 July to 8 October.

However, the low case fatality ratio is unusual for pneumonic plague which suggests that the number of suspected cases may be an overestimation.

Preliminary results from a rapid diagnosis test in the field found three samples positive, out of eight. Additional laboratory confirmation is under way.

A team from the Provincial Health Authority, WHO and Médecins sans Frontières (MSF Switzerland) carried out an initial investigation. Disease surveillance is being strengthened together with case management, contact tracing, and education of the population.

 

 

 

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