3 die of mystery illness in Tanzania — Analysis

Tanzanian medical experts are investigating an unknown sickness that killed three people in the country’s southeast

A mysterious illness characterized by a fever, headaches, fatigue and nosebleeds has claimed three lives in southeastern Tanzania and left 10 more people ill, the country’s chief medical officer announced on Wednesday, adding that a team of doctors and health experts had been sent to investigate.

The symptoms look similar to hemorhagic fevers, such as Ebola, Marburg, and other viruses, but all the patients were tested positive for these diseases as well as Covid-19. Aifello Sichalwe is Tanzania’s chief medical official. He urged his fellow countrymen not to panic and explained that the government had sent a team of experts.

One person is the only one who has survived the mystery disease, out of thirteen cases reported in the southeast Lindi area. Sichalwe said that three of the 13 cases have already died and that all remaining victims are now being held in isolation.

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President Samia Suluhu Hassan stated on Tuesday that the “It’s strange” disease might have been caused by “Growing interaction” between humans and wild animals, blaming “environmental degradation” for the alleged cross-species leap. The claim was vague and she did not provide any proof or details about whether an animal type might be responsible.

Last week two suspected cases of Marburg virus in Ghana were reported. This raises fears about another epidemic, since the disease is rare in West Africa. Marburg is a fatal hemorhagic fever that can be transmitted by fruit bats to people and between humans via close contact with bodily fluids. It kills up to 88% of the victims. It is unlikely that the two illnesses clusters of Marburg are linked because Ghana lies nearly 4,400 miles (6,400 km) away from Tanzania.

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