A dangerous new virus has emerged in Africa. An unknown disease has already claimed the lives of 15 people in Tanzania. More than 50 in hospitals, with dizziness, nausea and bloody vomiting. According to preliminary studies, the majority of patients are men with previous gastric ulcer or liver disease. Moreover, a similar outbreak was already recorded in Tanzania two years ago. Should we expect a new fatal disease from Africa?.
The epicenter of the disease is the Mbeya region. Tanzania’s health officials say some patients, mostly men, have died within hours of symptoms according to The Sun.
Felista Kisandu, chief physician of the Chunya rural area in Mbeya, says a team of experts was dispatched to assess the patients’ condition and find out the causes of the outbreak:
“This problem has not yet become widespread. This happens in just one administrative district, Ifumbo, where people vomit blood and die if they are not taken to the hospital in time. The cause of their illness has not yet been determined, but the Tanzanian Ministry of Health has ruled out an outbreak.
Kisandu said the government is testing samples of local water and blood from patients for traces of mercury contamination. In an interview with reporters, Kisandu says:
“Initial clinical examinations showed that the patients, mostly men, suffered from stomach ulcers and liver diseases. We advised them to avoid drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and not drinking hard liquor.”
However, after these optimistic statements by Dr. Kisandu, voiced on Saturday, on Sunday, the country’s health minister, Dorothy Gwajica, ordered her removal. In commenting on her decision, Gwajika said that the medical expert’s recent remarks caused “unnecessary panic” among local residents:
“For creating unnecessary panic among the residents, I am ordering Dr. Felista Kisand’s employer to suspend her from work in order to set the stage for an investigation by the Medical Council and submit a report to me within ten days.”
Government officials said several patients experienced similar symptoms in 2018 when patients suffered from fever, nausea and vomiting of blood. Now the Minister has urged people to remain calm and promised to provide additional information in the near future.
All this is a rather strange situation, since COVID-19 in Tanzania does not seem to exist because, according to the statement of the President of the country, John Magufuli, the spread of the pandemic in the country was stopped by the power of his prayer. He made this sensational announcement on January 9, six weeks after his government stopped public updates on coronavirus data.
The President said, “Coronavirus in our country has been removed by the powers of God.”
After that, Tanzanians were ordered to boost their immunity with medicinal herbs to fight the killer coronavirus. The number of Covid-19 cases in Tanzania remained at 509 for six weeks, however, the opposition estimates the number of cases could reach tens of thousands.
“Currently, the ministry has no plans to purchase vaccines for COVID-19, which are known to be used in other countries. At the moment, it is enough to observe personal hygiene and use traditional medicines,” the head of the Ministry of Health Dorothy Gwajima said.