Sokoine University of Agriculture

Preliminary observations on factors responsible for long persistence and continued outbreaks of plague in Lushoto district, Tanzania

Show simple item record Kilonzo, B.S. Mvena, Z.S.K. Machangu, R.S. Mbise, T.J. 2017-12-05T08:01:21Z 2017-12-05T08:01:21Z 1997-06-06
dc.identifier.issn 215–227
dc.description Acta Tropica, 68 (1997) 215–227 en_US
dc.description.abstract Human plague has been an important public health problem in Tanzania for over a century. Recorded outbreaks of the disease have been reported from various parts of Tanzania, including Iringa, Kagera, Singida, Mbulu, Arusha and Kilimanjaro since 1886. Since 1980 however, only Lushoto, Singida and Karatu districts have experienced outbreaks of the disease. Of these areas, Lushoto has disproportionately high incidences of the disease and this has persisted for nearly 17 years. Efforts to curb the disease through conventional methods, including control of vectors and reservoirs, chemotherapy and chemoprophylaxis, enforcement of sanitation improvement as well as health education, have been applied every year, but plague cases and deaths continue to occur in the area to date. During the period April 1980 to December 1996, a total of 6599 cases with 580 (8.8%) deaths were recorded. Biological factors, such as the presence of suitable rodent reservoirs, efficient flea vectors and plague bacillus, could be partly responsible for the long persistence and reccurence of the disease. Since such factors are also common in other plague foci where the disease has never been persistently recurrent, and where indigenous people are culturally different from those in Lushoto, it is assumed that socio-cultural factors play an important role as determinants of the disease in the latter district. This paper reports preliminary observations on socio-cultural, biological and environmental factors which are thought to be, at least partly, responsible for the long persistence and repeated outbreaks of plague in the district. These include traditional beliefs on the cause and health seeking behaviour for treatment of plague sleeping and food storage habits, large populations of rodents and fleas, and status of the immediate environment. © 1997 Elsevier Science B.V. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Elsevier en_US
dc.subject Plague en_US
dc.subject Socio-cultural factors en_US
dc.subject Biological factors en_US
dc.subject Rodents en_US
dc.subject Fleas en_US
dc.title Preliminary observations on factors responsible for long persistence and continued outbreaks of plague in Lushoto district, Tanzania en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.url en_US

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