Tanzania: Beware of Dengue Fever, Gov Cautions the Public

An Aedes albopictus female mosquito obtaining a blood meal from a human host.(file photo).

Dar es Salaam — The government has confirmed that there were diagnosed dengue fever cases in the city.

The fever is mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by a virus.

The ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children yesterday said that 11 out of 13 samples sent for laboratory tests at the International School of Tanganyika (IST) were found to harbour the dengue virus.

However, in a statement the ministry cautioned, "This report should not alarm anyone because there were similar reported cases in 2010, 2013 and 2014 and the vector, Aedes aegypti, is still existing in our environment".

In its statement, the ministry outlined the symptoms as including fever, headache and body pains.

In rare cases, the other symptoms include blood oozing from natural orifices like the mouth, nose, eyes, and urinary system.

Symptoms usually occur 3 to 14 days after the mosquito transmitting the disease has bitten a person.

The ministry emphasized that dengue symptoms resemble those of malaria, urging the public to ensure they seek medical consultation whenever they note them.

How is the disease spread?

Mosquitoes transmitting the disease reproduce in stagnant water outside or inside the human settlement. The larvae may grow inside the house before spreading the disease.

But, unlike, the malaria vector, the mosquitoes spreading dengue bite people during the day especially in the morning and evening.

The ministry says no inter person transmission has so far been reported.

How is the disease treated?

The ministry says no vaccine yet has been rolled out for the disease. So far, the patients are treated based on symptoms including fever, dehydration and anaemia.

The government urges the public to immediately report at hospitals and health centres for treatment after noting the symptoms.

How to prevent the disease

The ministry advises the public to destroy mosquito breeding sites in their surroundings.

The public should destroy the larvae around their settlements.

Furthermore, it is advised that items that could turn into mosquito reproducing sites be removed and destroyed, shrubs slashed and flowers planted in tins should not allow settlement of water.

Also, sewage and water chambers should be covered by hard covers and that house roofs are thoroughly cleaned to prevent settlement of water.

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