According to health authorities, a hepatitis E outbreak is currently ongoing in the north of the country, particularly in the health district of Bocaranga. At least 119 cases, including 800 confirmed cases and two fatalities, have been recorded. Appropriate sanitation measures have been put in place to contain the outbreak. The number of hepatitis E cases is nonetheless likely to rise in the coming days as access to the area is rendered difficult due to the presence of various armed groups.
Hepatitis E is primarily transmitted via contaminated 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 the affected area are advised to follow personal hygiene practices, such as regular hand-washing with purified water, and maintain adequate supplies of safe drinking water. Avoid drinking water and/or ice of unknown purity (tap water).
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