In the northeast of the Congo, the province of Ituri is located largely in a rain forest area, conducive to the proliferation of rats, whose snakes are not always sufficient to regulate the number. The plague is endemic there, which makes the Congo one of the three countries in the world where the disease claims the most victims, along with Madagascar and Peru. Over the past 20 years, 44,000 cases have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from a total of 26 countries.
The provincial Minister of Health in Ituri, Patrick Karamura, told . that in a few months, 520 cases had been detected, which resulted in “more than 31 deaths”. The main contagion zone is the territory of Aru. According to epidemiologist Anne Laudisoit, from the American NGO Ecohealth Alliance, cited by Jeune Afrique, the disease strikes people between 3 and 73 years old.