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‘Strange’ Ebola-like disease kills 3 in Tanzania

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According to media reports, health officials in Tanzania have reported a “strange” bleeding disease with no known cause that has so far affected 13 people and claimed three lives.

According to the Daily Mail, the 13 Tanzanian patients from the Lindi region had symptoms similar to Ebola or Marburg, including fever, severe headaches, fatigue, and bleeding, particularly from the nose.

However, preliminary lab test results from these cases have ruled out Ebola, Marburg, and Covid viruses, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

The discovery of the new Ebola-like disease comes just days after Ghana reported two deaths from the Marburg virus. The virus has been shown to kill up to 90% of infected patients.

Tanzania has never had a case of Ebola or Marburg, two deadly viruses that cause bleeding.

However, neighbouring countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda have in the past.

According to Tanzania’s Chief Medical Officer, Aifello Sichalwen, one of the patients has recovered completely, while the others are being isolated, according to the report.

“The government formed a team of professionals who are still investigating this unknown disease,” he added.

Sichalwe has also urged Tanzanians to remain calm as investigations continue, and anyone experiencing similar symptoms to seek medical attention immediately.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan suggested that the “abnormal” disease was caused by “growing interaction” between humans and wild animals.

Both Marburg and Ebola have been linked to human transmission and can be spread by fruit bats.

Experts are perplexed by the new outbreak and have no idea what virus is causing people to become ill.

According to the report, a team of doctors and health experts has been dispatched to investigate the mysterious disease amid fears that it is spreading.

Meanwhile, a new World Health Organization (WHO) study found that Africa is increasingly vulnerable to outbreaks caused by zoonotic pathogens.

According to the WHO analysis, the number of zoonotic outbreaks in the region increased by 63% between 2002 and 2022 when compared to 2001-2011.

Between 2001 and 2022, the WHO African region recorded 1,843 substantiated public health events.

The Ebola Virus Disease and other viral hemorrhagic fevers account for nearly 70% of these outbreaks, with dengue fever, anthrax, plague, monkeypox, and a variety of other diseases accounting for the remaining 30%.

The rise in zoonotic cases could be due to a variety of factors. Africa has the world’s fastest-growing population, and there is an increasing demand for animal-derived foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, and milk.

Population growth is also causing increased urbanisation and encroachment on wildlife habitats. Road, rail, boat, and air links across Africa are also improving, increasing the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks spreading from remote areas with few inhabitants to large urban areas.

When zoonotic diseases arrive in cities, as seen with the West African Ebola outbreaks, there can be a devastating number of deaths and cases, according to the WHO.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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