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Published On: Wed, Mar 19th, 2014

Uganda hepatitis E outbreak continues, death toll up to 23

The Uganda Ministry of Health says the hepatitis E outbreak in the Karamoja region that started last year continues to grow and the death toll mounts, according to a News Vision report today.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

Nearly 1,000 cases now have been reported as March 16 (967) and the number of fatalities is 23.

According Dr. Jane Aceng, the director general of health services, “15 (65.7%) of the 23 deaths occurred in expectant mothers, several leaving behind premature babies.”

The ministry’s strategy to control the epidemic includes social mobilization and health education, treatment, as well as improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

Hepatitis E is also known as enterically transmitted non-A non-B hepatitis has been the cause of several outbreaks and sporadic cases over a large geographical region.

The clinical course of hepatitis E is similar to that of hepatitis A with no chronic form of the disease. Jaundice, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy are common symptoms.

People are infected primarily through the fecal-oral route, usually through contaminated water or food. There have been several cases of hepatitis E infection in France due to eating raw figatellu, which is made with pig liver.

Much like hepatitis A, the fatality rate is low with the exception of pregnant women where it can reach 20% among those infected in the third trimester. Liver failure is a frequent outcome with pregnant women.

Hepatitis E is found endemically in countries that have inadequate environmental sanitation. It is most frequently seen in Asia, Africa, Central America and the Middle East.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

 


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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