As the government tries to take measures to prevent the deadly disease of Ebola from spreading into the country, one patient has been discovered to have been infected with the viruses at Nyakage hospital in Karagwe district, Kagera region.
According to one doctor from the hospital who declined to be named because he is not the authorised spokesperson, doctors at the hospital discovered a patient whose name was not immediately established with all signs of the disease when he went there for treatment on Friday.
The doctor further noted that the patient had travelled from Uganda and had entered into the country via Mulongo border in the western part of Kagera region.
Efforts to contact the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Hussein Mwinyi for more clarification about the matter yesterday bore no fruit as he was not ready to speak about the issue, asking the reporter to call him later. However, when efforts were made to reach him about an hour later his phone was switched off.
However, speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Dr Mwinyi said the government had sent medical experts to the Tanzanian border with Uganda in a quest to contain its spread into the country. The disease is known to have killed 14 victims.
Dr Mwinyi told visibly alarmed legislators that the medical experts who have been dispatched to the border were fully equipped with protective gear, medical supplies and other requisite equipment.
They are also able to identify Ebola virus carriers. The minister advised the public, especially those living in the northern regions of Kagera, Mara, Mwanza and Kigoma, some of which share border crossings with Uganda.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already alerted Tanzania on the Ebola threat. The ministry issued a statement to the press elaborating that Ebola was a highly contagious disease brought on by the Ebola virus.
As an outbreak of ebola progresses, bodily fluids from diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding represent a hazard. Due to lack of proper equipment and hygienic practices, large-scale epidemics occur mostly in poor, isolated areas without modern hospitals or well-educated medical staff.
The Ebola virus was first associated with an outbreak of 318 cases of a hemorrhagic disease in Zaire. Of the 318 cases, 280 of them died—and died quickly. That same year, 1976, 284 people in Sudan also became infected with the virus and 156 died.
The viruses that cause Ebola and Marburg are similar, infecting both monkeys and people. The outbreaks of these diseases are often self-contained, however, because they kill their hosts so quickly that they rapidly run out of people to infect.
In Kampala, Uganda the residents have been urged to avoid contact after the deadly Ebola virus hit the city.
Kampala residents have been urged to avoid contact after the deadly Ebola virus hit the city but security guard Joseph Karuba's job is to frisk people and he doesn't have gloves.
"The thing has come back -- it came first time and we beat it, then it came again and we beat it and now it is back," he said, waiting for shoppers outside one of the teeming capital's malls.
President Yoweri Museveni on Monday confirmed that Ebola, one of the world's most virulent diseases, had reached Kampala for the first time following an outbreak in the west of the country.
"We shall request gloves, but for now it is a very big problem because we are exposed," Karuba said.
Officials were searching for anyone who might have come into contact with the virus, amid public warnings for people to take precautions and avoid physical contact..