As I am looking to lift the lid on Ebola in Tanzania rumours, I first want to take you back on what happened in Congo & Sudan about 43 years ago.
In the year of 1976, in Nzara, a town in South Sudan two people died. They died after a few days of headache, fever, muscle pain, body weakness, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain and bleeding.
Before people in South Sudan couldn’t figure out what was going on, more deaths of the same behaviour followed. This time in the Yambuku village.
Yambuku Village is located just nearby the Ebola River in Congo. It is from this River the disease I am going to discuss in this post derived its name.
Congo is among neighbouring countries to Tanzania. It is, for this reason, anyone should be concerned about the availability of Ebola in Tanzania.
At the end of this post, you’ll realize that there is no official case of Ebola in Tanzania. But the most important, I will help you understand the best way to keep yourself safe from Ebola whether you’re in Tanzania or anywhere in Africa.
It’s true that there is no Ebola in Tanzania but Congo being our close neighbor, there is no reason why we shouldn’t keep ourselves as safe as possible.
So what is Ebola then?
Ebola is a Virus fever disease.
This is the first thing I want you to know before we further explore Ebola in Tanzania rumours.
Ebola affects both humans and other primates. It is commonly known as EVD to mean Ebola Virus Disease.
Origin of Ebola
While it isn’t unclear how Ebola came into existence, it is nevertheless believed the disease was transmitted to humans through the bushmeat.
It is strongly believed that the people of Southern Sudan and Congo got the first transmission by consuming the bushmeat of an infected animal.
In case you have forgotten, Ebola is also known as EVD which is a short form for Ebola Virus Disease.
This disease which thankfully, cannot be transmitted by air is mainly transmitted through direct contact with body fluids of;
- A person experiencing EVD symptoms
- A person who has recovered from EVD and
- Coming into a contact with fluids of a dead by Ebola corpse.
Nonetheless, EVD can also be transmitted when someone consumes meat from infected animals.
Actually, this was among the main Ebola transferring agents in Sudan and Congo during it’s early years of outbreak.
When it comes to animals, bats are believed to be the primary hosts of Ebola virus.
Ebola in Animals
While Gorillas and chimpanzees have been reported to die immediately after getting Ebola Virus, fruit-bats can live with virus without getting ill.
Ebola viruses have also been detected in other animals like forest antelopes and rodents but when it comes to felines such as lions, Ebola has never been detected on any of them.
Can You Get Ebola From Pets?
Since Ebola has never been found on felines, there is a high possibility that cats may be immune.
Speaking of dogs, In 2005 more than 300 dogs in Gabon where a handful of Ebola outbreak had occurred, were antibodies’ tested and most of them tested positive for Ebola.
These dogs had got Ebola viruses by eating bush meat scraps and from licking the vomits of the people who were suffering from this fatal disease.
While most of the dogs who tested positive for Ebola recovered, it is still unknown if dogs can pass the viruses to humans.
On another note, pigs, horses and goats have been infected by scientists doing experiments but no Ebola symptoms were developed by these animals. Not even the mild ones.
Bats Transmit Ebola to a Young Boy in Guinea
The 2014 outbreak of Ebola is believed to derive its origin from the bats in Meliandou village in Gambia.
In Meliandou, a small village with less than 50 houses Emile Ouamouno, a young boy died of Ebola aged only 2 years.
Dr. Fabian Leendertz, the Head of the research unit in Robert Koch-Institute Berlin, Germany conducted a four-week field after the death of Emile and in just 50 meters away from Emile’s home, Dr Fabian and colleagues found a large tree stump.
The tree was later discovered to be home of hundreds of bats and to make the matter even worse, it was reported by villagers that among many children who used to play in the hollow tree, a young Emile liked it there the most.
Ebola in Tanzania
It is understandable if you are considering a Tanzania safari, questions about Ebola fever should be circulating in your head.
We also feel deeply concerned by Ebola as well.
In fact, we live in Tanzania, we do our daily operations in Tanzania and sometimes, we even travel across East African countries in a day to day operations to facilitate best Tanzania safaris to our customers.
Needlessly to say, our families and beloved ones dwell in Tanzania.
But above all, we’re very concerned about Ebola in Tanzania as a matter of fact, Tanzania is our main destination for safaris.
One of our commitment to providing the best holiday tours is to ensure our clients’ safety is in place.
Safety in all aspects, health included. The fact that we’re members of AMREF Flying doctors says it all.
It is with all those concerns we have been very keen on following each update concerning Ebola in Tanzania rumours to put ourselves alerted while taking respective measures.
Apparently, most visitors are asking themselves; is there Ebola in Tanzania? Are we going to get Ebola by visiting Tanzania?
The truth is, no Ebola case has been reported in Tanzania as I am writing this.
Ebola is never a disease that can be hidden.
With Ebola suspect woman in Tanzania having travelled to different parts of the country, from Western, Eastern to Southern Tanzania and even made contact with her friends and relatives, at the moment I am writing we should already have a worrying number of transmissions had the woman tested Ebola positive.
Besides, the rumoured Ebola in Tanzania case after a woman died due to unknown illness has been cleared by the WHO, Health Ministry of Tanzania, and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
The above organizations agree that a died woman wasn’t suffering from Ebola.
Ebola in Tanzania Rumor Incidence
In the Friday 13th September, the reports circulated on the internet that a woman had died from Ebola.
Furthermore, reports claimed she had got Ebola in Uganda where she was studying Medical doctor at Makerere University.
Afterwards, she is said to have travelled to her home country Tanzania where on 28th August she started suffering from headache, fever, rashes and bloody diarrhoea.
From 7th of September, the lady was admitted to the Regional referral hospital in Dar es Salaam and later got transferred to an isolation unit where she unfortunately died on 8th of September.
In this case, her burial was intensively supervised something cemented further rumours of Ebola in Tanzania.
The U.S. Centres for Disease Control & Prevention Clears Tanzania Ebola Rumours
As Ebola in Tanzania rumours surfaced, Justin Williams, the director for communication and policy at the Nairobi office of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had the following to say following the incidence;
“It’s more likely something else. She has not travelled to the (Democratic Republic of Congo) and was not in close contact to an Ebola patient from DRC or Uganda’’ Said Justin on the died woman.
Justin Williams, source: Reuters
WHO Lifts Lid on Ebola in Tanzania
As the rumours kept on circulating on the internet, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic informed Reuters that the agency does not have official confirmation of such a particular disease.
Tanzania Health Minister Comment on Ebola in Tanzania
Next was the minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Ms Ummy Mwalimu to comment on the saga.
Here is what she had to address on Ebola in Tanzania rumours + the claims of Tanzania being less transparent
“We (as the ministry) took samples of those cases and I can confirm that they didn’t have Ebola,’’ said Ms Mwalimu, emphasizing that the only authority that can announce an outbreak of a disease such as Ebola is the country’s minister responsible for health”
“Ebola is known as a fast-spreading disease, whose impact can be felt globally. This is not a disease that the Tanzanian government can hide,”
“Reports suggesting that Tanzania has not been transparent about suspected cases of Ebola and is not sharing information with the WHO are false and should be ignored.”
“We are committed to implementing international health regulations in a transparent manner,”
Ummy Mwalimu, source: Reuters & The Citizen
Measures to Avoid Ebola
Whether you’re in Tanzania or in any country that borders the Ebola-infected countries; the following measures below will keep you Ebola-free.
Avoid unprotected contact with blood, body fluids or even tissues of an Ebola-infected person;
In the burial of a person who has died from Ebola, be careful. Every touch you do should be protected.
When it comes to sexual intercourse, it is important that you understand that a person who is recovering from Ebola can transmit you Ebola.
Protected sexual contact is of paramount importance here. This takes up to 12 months from the time of infection.
Be careful with soiled materials and surfaces.
Furthermore, this goes far beyond only soiled materials and surfaces. Medical equipment such as needles contaminated with Ebola Virus Disease can also transmit the EVD.
Careful with what you consume.
Avoid close contact and even consumption of infected animal. It is important for the meat to be checked before being passed good for consumption.
What you Should Never Worry About Ebola
- Any unprotected contact with infected persons before they develop the symptoms I have mentioned above.
- Casual contact that doesn’t involve body fluids contact. Example sharing a seat on public transport or the same waiting room.
- You shouldn’t worry about sharing air under the same roof with an infected individual.
- By the way, symptoms usually begin 2 to 21 days after exposure, in this case, a fever starts followed by other symptoms.
At Earthlife, we believe our customers’ safety always lies in our hands.
With that context, we’re always focused and determined to ensure that our customers are never in a risk.
We have achieved that by maintaining transparency while advising appropriate measures for any case that may pose risk to our customers, even when the risk is a slight one.
Our conduct is never going to change, not even with Ebola. Whenever we find out any updated advancements about Ebola case, we will keep on advising & suggesting the safest measures.
While there is no official proof on Ebola in Tanzania, there is no reason why we won’t have to ensure that we take appropriate measures to avoid Ebola transmission.
Whether we’re in Tanzania, in East Africa or in any other country in Africa, it is crucial that we take note on the measures that are proved to help to reduce the risk of getting Ebola.
In a recap;
- Washing your hands regularly will help you
- In any case, avoid contact with wild animals like bats and any other primates.
- Drink safe and clean water
- Stay away from a dead animal or human corpse.
- Contact with blood and other body fluids of infected people will get you in trouble.
- Always, ensure you consume safe, clean and well-cooked food.
- Avoiding the bushmeat of any kind goes without saying.
- Above all, always look for medical assistance whenever you develop any symptoms of Ebola-like high fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and bleeding.
That way, you will be in a pole position to avoid Ebola weather in Tanzania or anywhere in the world.