Medics in Ngoma District have linked the recent infections that affected dozens of people after consuming food at a hotel to salmonella bacteria.
Salmonella is a type of bacteria named after Daniel Elmer Salmon, the scientist who discovered it.
They said contaminated food was served by East Land Motel at the graduation ceremony of Open University of Tanzania (OUT) in Ngoma, and at the hotel branch in Kayonza, last Saturday.
In less than ten hours after the meals, dozens of people mainly from Ngoma and Kayonza districts, started to complain of severe headache, fever, diarrhea or stomach pains.
One person has been reported dead while several others are undergoing medical examination at different health facilities. The deceased had not been identified by press time.
Dr Rene Kaoze, from Kibungo Medical Centre, said tests carried out from Kibungo Hospital and Kigali laboratories confirmed that salmonella bacteria was the cause of the infections.
“Salmonella bacteria live in the intestines of humans and animals and are excreted in stool,” he said.
The infection causes gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
“We received at least 45 people in critical condition but they are now getting better after receiving treatment,” Kaoze said, adding that some of them have since been discharged.
Inspector of Police Emmanuel Kayigi, Eastern Region Police spokesman, told The New Times that investigations were ongoing to find the exact cause of the problem.
“We have so far arrested four people in connection with the food poisoning,” Kayigi said.
“What is evident is that the hotel was operating in a very unhygienic environment. From the kitchen to the toilets the situation is appalling,” he added.
Residents faulted hotel authorities for not being strict on hygiene.
Alex Ntaganira, a resident of Kayonza District, said most of the restaurants and hotels in the area were unhygienic.
The East Land Hotel manager couldn’t be reached for comment as he was said to be in Turkey on a study tour.