Image courtesy of Hugo Alexandre via Creative Commons

On September 12, 2019, HealthMap was alerted to a press release from the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa that announced that they have deployed a technical team to Tanzania to support an investigation of a rumored unknown illness that lead to the death of one person. In the release, no other information was available about the illness, so an RFI was sent to EpiCore members in the area.

Information received in EpiCore revealed that this illness had Ebola-like symptoms, including headache, fever, rash, bloody diarrhea, which lead to the suspicion of viral hemorrhagic fever. The patient was a Tanzanian physician who returned to the country after studying in Uganda. She became ill on August 28, 2019, then was hospitalized and put in isolation. The patient died on September 8, 2019 and a supervised burial was performed the same day. The cause of death is still unclear, but laboratory tests were negative, confirming that it was not Ebola.

The PHE was supported by information received on EpiCore.

Update (9/23/2019): The World Health Organization has urged the Tanzanian goverment to be more transparent about the suspected Ebola illnesses in the country. Unofficial reports are stating at least 3 potential cases of Ebola have been diagnosed, after patients have presented with fever and bleeding, however, official reports declare no Ebola in the region.

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