TANZANIA: YELLOW FEVER, HIGH ALERT

Mar 14, 2022 | Featured, Regional Outbreaks, Yellow fever | 0 comments

Date: Friday 11 March 2022

Tanzanian health authorities said on Wednesday [9 Mar 2022] the government is on high alert over the reported outbreak of yellow fever in neighboring Kenya.

Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister for Health, said the ministry has reinforced checks against the deadly virus on the country’s borders and other entry points, including ports and airports.

“Health personnel at all the country’s borders and other points of entry including ports and airports have been directed to ensure that travelers from high-risk countries in parts of Africa and Latin America are not allowed to enter into the country without proof of yellow fever vaccination certificates,” Mwalimu told a news conference in the capital Dodoma.

She said until now, Tanzania has not recorded any case of yellow fever, a viral infection spread by a particular type of mosquito that causes fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.

Mwalimu, who was flanked by the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative for Tanzania, Tigest Mengestu, said there were unconfirmed reports that the disease has also been identified in Uganda, South Sudan and Chad.

She said Tanzania has never experienced the outbreak of yellow fever since 1950. Mwalimu said on [3 Mar 2022], the WHO informed the government of Tanzania on the outbreak of yellow fever in the pastoralist and remote county of Isiolo in Kenya, about 270 kilometers

[168 mi] north of the capital Nairobi.

For her part, the WHO country representative underscored the need to intensify surveillance, saying diagnosis alone was not enough as the symptoms of yellow fever resembled other diseases like dengue and malaria. Yellow fever can become more fatal, causing heart, liver and kidney problems along with bleeding.

Communicated by:  ProMED-EAFR

The East African Community Secretariat has called for the EAC Partner States to step up efforts to prevent and respond to infectious disease outbreaks after the heavy rains in some parts of the EAC region. The EAC Secretariat also recommends Partner States increase risk communication activities with preventive messages that enable the public to manage the risks at hand. Furthermore, meteorology departments should continue to monitor and analyze weather patterns, as well as share information with other departments, to plan and prepare for outbreaks of infectious diseases of public health concern.

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