News Alerts

15 Jan 2019 | 08:19 AM UTC

Tanzania: Anthrax outbreak reported in Songwe region

Tanzania News Alert

Health officials report anthrax outbreak in Songwe region; at least 77 cases and four deaths reported as of mid-January

TIMEFRAME expected from 1/14/2019, 12:00 AM until 1/21/2019, 11:59 PM (Africa/Dar_es_Salaam). COUNTRY/REGION Songwe


Health officials have reported an anthrax outbreak in Momba district (Songwe region). According to local sources, at least 77 cases, including four associated deaths, have been reported as of mid-January. Health officials have advised residents to avoid eating meat from infected animals.


Anthrax is caused by the Bacillus anthracis bacteria and can be deadly, although it is not easily spread. Symptoms of anthrax contamination include small blisters grouped together, swelling, skin sores, fever, chills, nausea, and body aches. It largely survives as spores that can lie dormant in soil for years before entering an animal through a cut or wound. Most frequently, the infection results from exposure to spores from infected animals, dead or alive, or products from infected animals. Anthrax can be treated with antibiotics, but treatment must start soon after infection.


Individuals in the area are advised to comply with all government recommendations and to take measures to avoid the risk of contamination (e.g., do not eat beef). Seek immediate medical attention if any of the abovementioned symptoms are exhibited during or after travel in areas affected by the outbreak.


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