Tanzania investigates mysterious disease after five deaths
The Tanzanian government has sent a team of health experts to investigate a mysterious illness that has claimed the lives of five people.
The disease was found “in a total of seven people with symptoms such as fever, vomiting, bleeding in various parts of the body and kidney failure,” the health ministry said in a statement released late Thursday.
The government has sent a rapid response team to the northwestern region of Kagera, which borders Uganda, to investigate a “contagious disease,” Tanzania’s chief medical officer, Tumaini Nagu, said in a statement.
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“Samples were taken from patients and deceased to determine the source and type of the disease,” she said, urging the public to remain calm but take precautions to avoid infection.
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The investigation follows an Ebola outbreak in Uganda that lasted nearly four months and killed 55 people before the government announced it had ended in January.
Rat fever in Tanzania
An outbreak of leptospirosis or “rat fever” was identified in Tanzania last year, killing three people in the southeastern region of Lindi.
The bacterial infection is usually spread through the consumption of water or food contaminated with the urine of infected animals.
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Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hasan said at the time that the disease could be caused by “increasing interaction” between humans and wildlife as a result of environmental degradation.