DAR ES SALAAM, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania on Sunday confirmed the outbreak of dengue fever, saying 11 people have been diagnosed with the disease in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
"The ministry is aware of the outbreak of dengue fever in Dar es Salaam and 11 patients have been diagnosed with the disease," Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Mpoki Ulisubisya said.
The government has started to take control measures to check the disease from spreading further, he said.
Ulisubisya said the measures included a public awareness campaign to be implemented in tandem with surveillance throughout the east African nation.
The ministry, in collaboration with the state-owned National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and two clinics, will continue to make diagnosis of the dengue fever, a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus.
The worst dengue outbreak in Tanzania was in 2014 when more than 400 patients in Dar es Salaam were diagnosed with the disease, which killed at least three, including a doctor who reportedly caught it while attending to patients.
Dengue fever is said to affect about 390 million people in the world every year, and is particularly prevalent on the east African coast.
In the aftermath of the last outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a global alert on the rise of vector-borne diseases, urging travelers to take precautions.
Because there is no medicine or vaccine for dengue, health experts recommend measures preventing mosquito bites.
Symptoms of dengue fever typically begin three to 14 days after infection, which may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.