Reports of a possibly contagious disease have emerged in the Kagera region of Tanzania, where five people have died out of the seven who developed symptoms of fever, vomiting, bleeding from various body openings and kidney failure.
Chief Medical Officer Tumaini Nagu said in a statement that two of the patients are admitted at a hospital in Bukoba and a Rapid Response Team has been dispatched to the affected rural areas of Maruku and Kanyangereko wards.
Samples of patients have been sent for laboratory investigations to identify the type of disease, however, Prof. Nagu told the media that the disease is “possibly contagious.”
She urged the public to report to a nearby health facility if they develop similar symptoms and that anyone who sees a person with the symptoms must alert authorities by calling a toll-free number 199.
Further, she asked the residents of Kagera region to remain calm but must avoid contact with those who were reported ill.
Bukoba borders Uganda, a country where cases of viral outbreaks have been reported in recent months. Since early March this year, in neighbouring Uganda, the World Health Organisation has been monitoring cases of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever after public health authorities in the country confirmed twelve (12) human cases in the greater Mbarara areas.
However, laboratory investigations being undertaken in Tanzania will help confirm whether or not there is a spillover of an infectious disease into Tanzania from Uganda or it’s any other form of disease originating in Tanzania.