An outbreak of plague that emerged in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) three months ago has left 31 people dead, according to health officials.
Hundreds of cases have been identified in the Ituri Province, in the northeast of the country.
Patrick Karamura, the health minister for the region, told AFP on Friday: “We have more than 520 cases … of which more than 31 have been fatal.”
The cases are the bubonic form of the disease, except for five cases of pneumonic plague and two of septicaemic plague, he said.
Anne Laudisoit, an epidemiologist with the New York-based NGO EcoHealth Alliance, said the cases had surfaced in the province between 15 November and 13 December.
The average age of patients was 13, but this varied between three months and 73 years, she said.
EchoHealth Alliance warned last month that adolescents under 17 years old seem to be the most at-risk group, representing 78.9 per cent of all sick people.
Plague has persisted in the Ituri Province since…