Tanzania has asked medical experts to investigate a mysterious "communicable" disease that has already killed five people in the country, authorities said.
The disease has been detected in "seven people with symptoms such as fever, vomiting, bleeding and kidney failure," the health ministry said in a statement late Thursday night.Medical experts have been dispatched to the Kagera region (northwest) bordering Uganda to investigate the "communicable" disease, said health official Tumaini Nagu.
"Samples have been taken from patients and the dead to identify the source and type of disease," she said in a statement, calling on the population to remain calm.
The case comes after an Ebola outbreak in Uganda that lasted almost four months and left 55 people dead. Uganda declared the end of the outbreak in January.Last year, Tanzania identified an outbreak of leptospirosis, or "rat disease," that killed three people in the southeastern region of Lindi.
This bacterial disease, transmitted to humans by certain mammals, is spread through water or food contaminated by the urine of infected animals.
Outbreaks as this is not new in Tanzania. Last July, a disease whose symptoms included nosebleeds, fever, headaches and fatigue, was detected in the Lindi region. In response, the government's chief medical officer, Aifello Sichalwe formed a team of professionals and called on residents to remain calm.
Mr Sichalwe added that the patients tested negative for Ebola, Marburg virus and Covid-19. One of them has recovered while the others are in isolation. A total of 13 cases of patients were detected then, three of whom have died.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan then told a religious gathering that the "strange" disease detected in Lindi could have been caused by "increasing interactions" between humans and animals due to environmental degradation.