Following cases of yellow fever which were recorded in neighbouring countries, Tanzania has tightened its border to prevent the disease from spreading.
Tanzania’s Health Minister, Ummy Ally Mwalimu, stated on Wednesday that, in addition to frequent requests for valid vaccination certificates from visitors entering the country, the government is enforcing the law.
“The ministry will ensure adequate availability of yellow fever vaccines in the country, oversee and stress cleanliness of the environments to check mosquitoes breeding, and continue to give civic yellow fever education to the citizens,” she said.
The steps were taken shortly after Kenya confirmed an outbreak of the severe and contagious viral disease in Isiolo, about 280km north of Nairobi. Tanzania, however, claims that suspected cases have been found in Uganda, South Sudan, and Chad.
Yellow fever certificates have typically been required for visitors from ‘sensitive’ nations, as defined by previous recorded cases or outbreaks.
Once contracted, it incubates in the body for three to six days, followed by an illness whose symptoms include fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, shivers, loss of appetite and nausea or vomiting. In severe cases, patients develop jaundice and bleeding.
Vaccination remains the single most important measure for preventing the disease. Tanzania has not seen a case of the disease since 1950, according to data. Authorities currently claim to use a quick detection mechanism for reporting infectious disorders, which was introduced in 2000.
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