The mysterious disease that emerged in the East African country of Tanzania turns out to be leptospirosis, a bacterial disease transmitted by rodents. The Minister of Health Ummy Mwalimu reports this. Three people have already died from the ‘rat disease’.
Twenty cases of the disease have been identified in the Lindi region. Authorities sent a team of doctors and experts to the scene to investigate the disease.
Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu visited the region and said the disease is caused by bacteria secreted by wild animals, such as rats or foxes. Humans can become infected through water or food that comes into contact with the animals’ urine. “The good news is that the disease is preventable and treatable,” the minister said. He also called on the population to keep calm.
Most infected people have since recovered from the disease. The patients had symptoms such as nosebleeds, fever, headache and fatigue, and two of them are still in isolation. The patients all tested negative for Ebola, Covid-19 and the Marburg virus, a rare but highly contagious pathogen.
Leptospirosis is also known as rat disease or mud fever. In extreme cases, the infection can affect organs such as the liver, kidneys and brain, with potentially fatal consequences.