Tanzania’s mystery disease that attacked the southern region of lindi region a few weeks ago has been identified as leptospirosis a bacterial infection that was confirmed in 20 patients and claimed at least three lives. 

According to Tanzania’s Health minister Ummy Mwalimu, test results from samples that had been taken off patients, all came out positive for the disease after having tested negative for Covid-19, Ebola and Marburg. 

“I would like to inform the public that sample testing from patients has confirmed the outbreak is leptospirosis field fever or ‘homa ya Mgunda’ as it is known in Swahili,” said Ms Mwalimu on Monday. 

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. The bacteria are transmitted from animals to humans through cuts or abrasions in the skin, nose, or eyes that come in contact with water or soil contaminated with the urine of infected animals and cannot be transmitted from one human to another. 

The most common symptoms of leptosiprosis in humans are fever, headache, chills, cough, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain, rash, red and irritated eyes, and jaundice. 

In some cases, the disease can also lead to kidney or liver failure, meningitis and respiratory distress, which can turn fatal. 

 

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