Besides that deadly COVID-19 disease that has been wreaking havoc in East Africa since last year, the Tanzanian government is on high alert over another deadly disease that kills in hours after showing its first symptoms.
The government has urged Tanzanians to take precautions following an outbreak of Meningococcal meningitis in Tshopo province in the north-central Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
The disease is transmitted from one person to another through the air or in contact with an infected person.
On September 8, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that the killer disease is a threat in Africa.
Tanzania's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Aifelo Sichwale has today issued a statement, telling Tanzanians that it is important for them to take precautions, especially those living in regions bordering DRC.
The disease is caused by bacteria known as 'Neisseria meningitides'
"The disease takes two to 10 days from infection before it starts showing symptoms," said Dr Sichwale.
Its main symptoms include high fever, headache, vomiting, fear fever, headache, and neck stiffness.
Besides rapid deaths, Dr Aifelo has said the disease could also cause serious brain damage, loss of hearing or other permanent disabilities.
“Ili kuzuia maambukizi wananchi wanapaswa kuepuka mikusanyiko ya watu wengi hasa wakati wa milipuko, makazi yazingatie mzunguko mzuri wa hewa. Hivyo wananchi wanashauriwa kutoa taarifa mapema endapo wataona mtu yeyote mwenye dalili zilizotajwa ili hatua stahiki za kudhibiti zichukuliwe mapema,” he said which loosely translates
(In order to prevent the spread of the disease, citizens should avoid crowded gatherings, especially during the outbreak, live in houses with good ventilation. Therefore, citizens are advised to report in advance if they see anyone with symptoms so that appropriate control measures can be taken early)
In DCR, some deaths have already been confirmed.
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