FIVE people have died after contracting a mystery illness that causes headaches and nosebleeds, it has been reported.
Health officials in Tanzania are now racing to identify the illness, with seven cases having been detected.
It's been found in the Kagera region of the north west of the country, with officials having put a 'rapid response' team in place to investigate the illness.
Chief medical officer of Tanzania, Tumaini Nagu, said the main symptoms patients have been experiencing is a headache, fever, tiredness and nosebleeds.
Now authorities are urging residents to avoid contact with people who have contracted the illness.
Last July, similar symptoms were reported in Lindi, which is closer to the coast of the country.
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Three people died from the illness, which was found to be leptospirosis – an infection that spreads via the urine of animals, including pigs and rats.
The symptoms of the illness are similar to those being seen in the Kagera region.
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the US states that leptospirosis is a bacterial disease.
Guidance states that without treatment, it can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.
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They state that in some cases, the infected person might not have any symptoms at all.
"The time between a person’s exposure to a contaminated source and becoming sick is 2 days to 4 weeks. Illness usually begins abruptly with fever and other symptoms," guidance states.
In most cases, the illness will last from a few days to three weeks or longer and without treatment it may take several months.
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