An unknown disease kills five people in Tanzania: these are the symptoms

Tanzania has asked medical experts to investigate a mysterious "communicable" disease that has already claimed five lives in the countryaccording to the country's health authorities.

The disease has been detected in seven people in two villages in the Kagera region (north-west) on the border with Ugandadetailed the Ministry of Health in a press release released late Thursday night.

"The other two (people) are in the hospital for treatment. The trend of the disease indicates the possibility of it being an infectious disease," health official Tumaini Nagu said.

The health authorities have sent a team of medical experts to the area where the outbreak has been identified to try to diagnose the disease.

"Samples have been taken from the patients and the deceased to identify the source and type of disease," Nagu added in a statement, calling on the population to calm down.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, headaches, fatigue, bleeding in various parts of the body, and kidney failure.

In July last year, more than 20 cases of people with similar symptoms were reported in the Lindi region (southeast) of the country. Three died from the disease.

Authorities later reported that it was an epidemic of leptospirosis, or "rat disease."

This bacterial disease, transmitted to humans by certain mammals, is spread through water or food contaminated by the urine of infected animals.

Leptospirosis can present with a wide variety of clinical manifestations, from mild to severe disease.

Symptoms include fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle and joint pain, and red eyes. Severe cases can cause yellow skin and eyes, swollen ankles, feet, or hands, chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.

The disease can be treated with antibiotics and it can take a few days to five weeks for the patient to be completely cured. However, without proper medication, it can cause kidney and liver damage, organ failure, and even death.