What you need to know:
- The disease spreads from animals to humans when humans come into contact with urine from animals who are carriers of the bacteria that causes Leptospirosis
Dar es Salaam. The mysterious outbreak that killed three people in Southern Tanzania a week ago, sending panic across the country because it was unknown, has been identified as Leptospirosis, also known as field fever.
Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria known as Leptospira interrogans, said Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu on Monday July 18, during a press briefing in Lindi where the disease was first reported in Tanzania.
According to the her, more than 20 cases have been reported, with three deaths. Two patients are currently hospitalised.
The disease spreads from animals to humans when humans come into contact with urine from animals who are carriers of the bacteria.
“It is rare for the disease to be transimmitted from person to person,” she noted.
She added: The disease has been existing in tropical areas with high temperatures in North America, South America, Asia and Australia and is carried by animals like dogs, rodents, etc who have contracted the infection and spread it to humans.
On July 15, Tanzania’s chief medical officer, Aifelo Sichwale, said three people among 11 reported to have diagnosed with the disease had died in Lindi.
The news came few days after President Samia Suluhu Hassan issued an alarm on the mysterious disease in Southen Tanzania where people with nosebleed collapse and died.
Gracing the 20th Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in East Africa (AMECEA) Plenary Assembly organised by Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), President Hassan said the hypothesis was that the disease is associated with impacts of environmental degradation.
She said with environmental degradation, the lives of some wild species have been disrupted, forcing them to go closer to human settlements, thus affecting human health.
The three were among 11 people diagnosed with the disease which has so far witnessed an alarming rise in the country.