Tanzanian authorities have implemented routine Ebola virus disease (EVD) screenings at points of entry throughout the country as a precaution due to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As of August 24, all travelers arriving at Julius Nyerere International Airport and Kilimanjaro International Airport are being subject to health screenings. Similar measures are in place at border crossing points. While Tanzania does not share a border with the DRC, officials are concerned about the potential spread of EVD in the region.
Health officials in the DRC have confirmed at least 67 67 fatalities from the ongoing outbreak EVD in North Kivu and Ituri provinces as of August 24. According to the health ministry, there are 105 total cases.
EVD is extremely virulent. The disease is transmitted to humans via direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected animals. The disease can then be transmitted between humans and is highly contagious, particularly during the hemorrhagic phase. Ebola is characterized by the sudden onset of high fever, weakness, joint and muscle pain, and headache. A sore throat is also a common early symptom. These symptoms are followed by nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, kidney and liver failure, and, in some cases, internal and external bleeding.
Travelers should avoid areas threatened and affected by the outbreak and monitor the situation. To prevent the spread of EVD:
- Avoid contact with infected individuals and any items that have been in their close proximity
- Avoid consuming bush meat and only handle animals when wearing gloves and the appropriate protective wear
- Animal products (meat and blood) should be thoroughly cooked before consumption
- Adhere to a strict observance of hygienic precautions (wash hands regularly, etc.)
- Avoid crowded areas (stadiums, markets, train stations, etc.) In case of doubt, individuals should seek immediate medical attention and comply with all directives issued by local health authorities