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SASTM Newsflash - Hepatitis E - South Sudan


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SASTM Newsflash




The United Nations says an outbreak of hepatitis E has killed 111 refugees in camps in South Sudan since July [2012]. UN refugee agency spokesman Adrian Edwards says the influx of people to the camps from neighbouring Sudan is believed to be one of the factors in the rapid spread viral disease of the liver. Edwards said on Friday [15 Feb 2013] that 6017 cases had been diagnosed.


The virus is spread through contaminated food and water.


Communicated by: ProMED-mail


[The hepatitis E death toll has increased from the 88 recorded on 1 Feb 2013 by Medecins sans Frontieres and is likely to increase further in view of the congestion and lack of resources in these camps in South Sudan.


Hepatitis E virus is transmitted mainly through the faecal-oral route due to faecal contamination of drinking water. Other transmission routes include foodborne transmission from ingestion of products derived from infected animals and vertical transmission from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Currently, there is no vaccine available for control of hepatitis E virus infection. Hepatitis E virus infection is self-limiting in normal conditions, and fulminant hepatitis is rare, with only pregnant women being at increased risk. In environments such as the refugee camps in South Sudan, the outcomes are much more serious, especially for pregnant women.






South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM)

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The content and opinions are neither pre-screened nor endorsed by the SASTM. The content should neither be interpreted nor quoted as inherently accurate or authoritative.

The information provided in SASTM Newsflashes is collected from various news sources, health agencies and government agencies. Although the information is believed to be accurate, any express or implied warranty as to its suitability for any purpose is categorically disclaimed. In particular, this information should not be construed to serve as medical advice for any individual. The health information provided is general in nature, and may not be appropriate for all persons. Medical advice may vary because of individual differences in such factors as health risks, current medical conditions and treatment, allergies, pregnancy and breast feeding, etc. In addition, global health risks are constantly evolving and changing. International travelers should consult a qualified physician for medical advice prior to departure.

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