Pneumonic plague is a respiratory disease and is endemic to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where sporadic outbreaks are known to occur. If the disease is not diagnosed at an initial stage then proves to be fatal to the patient. If diagnosed at an early stage then the patient can be completely cured with antibiotics.
The disease has already killed 22 people and this highly contagious disease is spreading like a wild fire. Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has asked the WHO to help it contain an outbreak. Jerome Souquet, MSF Head in Ituri district has called in volunteers who have the capacity to conduct active searches for suspected cases and identification of individuals in contact with suspected cases to mobilize resources. The outbreak has to be controlled before it spirals out of control.
The epidemic spread to new areas due to the prevailing insecurity in the central African country. It is difficult to identify infected locals as they are scattered around the thickly forested region. MSF is currently treating 144 patients and have deployed medical teams to set up isolation centres in two new districts. If the disease is not contained quickly then it could affect five different areas in the Rethy district. Some of the areas are inaccessible which could endanger the life of about 100,000 people resulting in alarming consequences on the health situation.