3 killed in Tanzania due to mysterious Ebola-like disease, investigation begins

The mysterious disease has Ebola-like symptoms. (representative photo)

Three people have died of a mysterious disease like Ebola in Tanzania, Africa, after which the government had to send a team of doctors to investigate it. Symptoms of the illness include fever, headache, fatigue and bleeding nose, the government’s chief medical officer, Eifalo Sichalwe, said in a statement on Wednesday. So far 13 cases have been reported in the southeastern region of Lindi, including three people who died. Tanzania has never previously reported a case of Ebola or Marburg, two deadly viruses that cause bleeding.

Officials in the East African country have called the outbreak “strange”.

“The government has constituted a team of professionals who are still investigating this unknown disease,” Mr Sichalwe said, asking people in the area to remain calm.

He said that one patient has fully recovered while the other is being isolated. None of the 13 patients tested positive for Ebola or Marburg and their COVID test results also came back negative.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan said the “strange” disease reported in Lindi may be due to “increasing interactions” between humans and wild animals as a result of environmental degradation.

This comes days after Ghana reported two suspected cases of the Marburg virus, which belongs to the same family as Ebola and has symptoms including high fever and internal and external bleeding.

The Ghana Health Service said in a statement that another 34 people had been identified who had contacts with the cases and are currently in quarantine.

If confirmed, the World Health Organization said it would be the first case of Marburg in Ghana.

Both Marburg and Ebola, known to spread between humans, can be carried by fruit bats. No cure or vaccine exists for Marburg, which is somewhat less fatal than Ebola, characterized by high fever and internal and external bleeding.