FULL STATEMENT FROM MINISTRY OF HEALTH-MALAWI ON DENGUE FEVER IN TANZANIA

Date:

The Ministry of Health would like to inform the general public and the media that it has received reports of a Dengue outbreak in the United Republic of Tanzania, especially in Dar es Salaam, a popular destination for shopping to thousands of business people from across the country. By 2nd June 2014, in the districts Kinondoni, Temeke, and Ilala that are in Dar es Salaam, a total of 1,089 cases were confirmed with four deaths.
We therefore wish to inform all the people traveling to Dar es Salaam to exercise great caution and practice appropriate prevention measures. Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary transmitter of dengue. The Dengue virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. After virus incubation for 4–10 days, an infected mosquito is capable of transmitting the virus for the rest of its life.
Infected humans are the main carriers and multipliers of the virus, serving as a source of the virus for uninfected mosquitoes. Patients who are already infected with the dengue virus can transmit the infection (for 4–5 days; maximum 12) via Aedes mosquitoes after their first symptoms appear. Dengue should be suspected when a high fever is accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash. Symptoms usually last for 2–7 days, after an incubation period of 4–10 days after the bite from an infected mosquito. As of now, there is no specific treatment for dengue fever and all people travelling to these are areas are requested to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by sleeping under mosquito nets.
On the part of the Ministry of Health (Malawi), all health workers and Port Health Officers have been put on alert with increased surveillance of potential cases. Based on the current information available for this outbreak, WHO, does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to the United Republic of Tanzania, both mainland and Zanzibar.

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Robert Ngwira
Attended Our Future Private Secondary School in Rumphi from 2006-2009 Holder of Diploma in Journalism from Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) Hobbies, reading newspapers, going out with friends, listening to radio and watching football. Email: info@faceofmalawi.com

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