According to health officials, at least 3000 hepatitis E cases, including 24 fatal cases, have been reported nationwide in Namibia between December 2017 and late August 2018. The most affected area remains the capital city of Windhoek.
Hepatitis E is transmitted via contaminated food and water. Although the infection generally goes away on its own within two to six weeks, it can worsen and develop into fulminant hepatitis (especially among pregnant women), which can be fatal. Symptoms of the disease include fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, itching, rash, or joint pain. In some cases, jaundice or hypertrophy of the liver may occur.
Individuals in Windhoek, and elsewhere in Namibia, are advised to drink only bottled or purified water and to avoid foods that cannot be thoroughly cooked, peeled, or disinfected.
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