Ebola in Tanzania? Who’s fooling WHO?

Ebola in Tanzania? Who's fooling WHO?
An Ugandan health worker shows an information flyer on Ebola virus and how to prevent its spread to the community of Kirembo village, near the boarder with the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Kasese district, Uganda, June 15,2019

The World Health Organization (WHO) is accusing Tanzania of not sharing information about alleged Ebola cases in the country.

WHO has revealed that they were made aware of Ebola in Tanzania on September 10 after the death of a patient in Dar es Salaam.

“Identified contacts of the deceased were unofficially reported to be quarantined in various sites in the country,” VOA quoted the agency adding that the woman was reported dead on September 8.

The deceased, a 34-year-old woman, is said to have travelled to Uganda according to information from WHO as cited in the VOA report.

She had allegedly been suffering Ebola-like symptoms such as headache, fever, rash and bloody diarrhea since August 10.

WHO alleges that Tanzania has had two other possible Ebola cases but one tested negative while information on the other patient is scanty.

The Government however denies the claims saying it there were no suspected cases of Ebola in Tanzania.

Tanzania is heavily reliant on tourism and an outbreak of Ebola would likely lead to a dip in visitor numbers, news agencies say.

Authorities in east and central Africa have been on high alert over possible spill-overs of Ebola from the Democratic Republic of Congo where a year-long outbreak has killed over 2,000 people.

Last week, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar reportedly criticised Tanzania for its failure to share information on the possible outbreak. Reuters reports that American minister dispatched a senior U.S. health official to Tanzania the next day.

According to the BBC, the Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC in August last year was the biggest of the 10 outbreaks since 1976 when the virus was first discovered.

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