Hepatitis outbreak still under control

29 December 2017 | Health


A total of 38 people have been linked to the hepatitis E virus (HEV) outbreak in Windhoek’s informal settlements, including nine who tested positive and 11 Havana residents who are on treatment because they have shown HEV symptoms.

Last week, the health ministry announced the HEV outbreak, which had claimed the life of a 26-year-old woman, who died shortly after giving birth in November.

The ministry also confirmed that the outbreak had been detected solely in parts of Windhoek’s informal settlements, where the supply of clean drinking water is not always assured and sanitation challenges abound.

At the announcement of the HEV outbreak in Windhoek last week, health minister Dr Bernhard Haufiku confirmed that nine patients had tested positive, while four had tested negative, and in eight cases results were still pending.

The health ministry’s Dr Sikota Zeko this week confirmed that five people had since tested positive, while the ministry was still waiting for the results of 12 patients, up from the eight results that were still pending last week.

He confirmed that Havana, with 11 cases, had been identified as the epicentre of the outbreak.

Zeko explained that during an outbreak, when a person presenting with the symptoms of the infection comes forward from an area where the outbreak has been identified, no further specimens are taken and the person is immediately treated “by virtue of location” and the symptoms.

Last week the ministry confirmed that a total of 26 patients in the Havana, Goreangab, Hakahana, Greenwell Matongo and Ombili informal settlements had been tested.

Zeko said health education was continuing in the community on personal hygiene, sanitation and hand-washing, crucial to reducing the risk of infection.

The virus is transmitted via the faecal-oral route, principally via contaminated drinking water, and the disease is most common in areas with limited access to water, sanitation, hygiene and health services.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “the risk factors for hepatitis E are related to poor sanitation, allowing virus excreted in the faeces of infected people to reach drinking water supplies.”

The WHO also recommends that authorities ensure that residents have access to quality water supply and that proper disposal systems for human faeces are provided to help reduce the risk of HEV outbreaks.

Symptoms include jaundice, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine, pale-coloured stool, joint pain, nausea and vomiting.

Health officials urge anyone presenting with these symptoms to go to the nearest health facility.

Most people with hepatitis E recover completely and the fatality rate is about 1% for the general population.

However, for pregnant women, hepatitis E can be a serious illness, with mortality reaching 10%–30% in their third trimester of pregnancy.

Hepatitis E could also be serious among persons with pre-existing chronic liver disease or persons with suppressed immune systems.

Similar News


Solar systems for rural clinics

3 days ago - 18 January 2018 | Health

Solar systems were installed at five rural clinics in Namibia during December to provide constant and cost-effective access to electricity. The United Nations Development Programme...

Hepatitis E cases rise

4 days ago - 17 January 2018 | Health

The number of hepatitis E cases plaguing several informal settlements of Windhoek continue to rise, with 294 cases presenting with clinical signs at Windhoek health...

Oshipangelo shaShikuku tashi tamanekwa

1 week ago - 12 January 2018 | Health

Uuministeli wuundjolowele inawu vula okugandja epeko lyondjokonona yepango lyomukokele ngoka a pangwa moshipangelo shaSt Martin, mOshikuku koHealth Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA). Ofamili yomukokele ngoka,...

Rebate ban a lose-lose situation

1 week ago - 11 January 2018 | Health

Local gym owner Henk Cloete believes the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) has made a big mistake by doing away with gym rebates.This, he...

Oshikuku hospital under fire

1 week ago - 11 January 2018 | Health

The health ministry has been unable to provide the medical records of a pensioner treated at St Martin's Hospital at Oshikuku to the Health Professions...

Kwa lopotwa iipotha yoHepatitis E moshilandopangelo

1 week ago - 08 January 2018 | Health

Omuntu gumwe okwa lopotwa a hulitha omanga yaali ya taambelwa moshipangelo shaKatutura oshowo shaRoman Catholic Private Hospital na yalwe oya tumwa komagumbo. Onkundana ndjoka oya...

Pollution is a ticking time-bomb

2 weeks ago - 05 January 2018 | Health

The ministry of health appears to have on its hands a massive health crisis which was in fact predicted in a 2017 publication about informal...

Shortage of rabies vaccine

2 weeks ago - 05 January 2018 | Health

For the past few months government hospitals and clinics have been running out of human rabies vaccine, which forces people to turn to private pharmacies...

Rebate drop irks gym goers

2 weeks ago - 05 January 2018 | Health

Fitness centre members are unhappy about the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) decision to cancel gym rebates. Namfisa late last year announced that medical...

Hepatitis outbreak still under control

3 weeks ago - 29 December 2017 | Health

JANA-MARI SMITHA total of 38 people have been linked to the hepatitis E virus (HEV) outbreak in Windhoek’s informal settlements, including nine who tested positive...

Latest News

Germany's first blow in genocide...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Justice

As was expected the German government through its Washington lawyers appealed to the New York federal court to dismiss the Nama and OvaHerero lawsuit, but...

Hambukushu committee in dramatic U-turn

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Cultural

In a dramatic twist, a committee established by the Hambukushu tribe with the sole mandate to force local chief Erwin Munika Mbambo to relinquish power,...

Building strong ­relationships

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Supplements

TUNOHOLE MUNGOBAAn average day of a sales consultant in the world of vehicle and asset finance begins with an administrative focus to finalise all applications...

Alleged double killer gets new...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Justice

A man accused of killing two women and burning their bodies at a dumpsite in Windhoek in January 2016 now has a new state-funded defence...

Pensioners given the run-around

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Government

CATHERINE SASMANAn elderly couple claim to have been given misleading information about re-registration for state pensions last week.The couple, preferring anonymity, say they went to...

Bank Windhoek appoints procurement head...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Supplements

Joubert has over 20 years’ experience in the procurement environment in both the public and financial sectors, including supply chain processes such as receipting, warehousing,...

When to give an annual...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Supplements

Luck of the draw. Some companies have a firm policy that says that employees who haven’t been with the company for at least a full...

Fransfontein hostel: Ministry steps in

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Education

Kunene education officials have jumped into action after slum-like living conditions at a Khorixas school hostel came to light this month, vowing to render assistance...

Angola to issue US$2 bln...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Economics

Stephen Eisenhammer - Angola plans to issue a Eurobond and renegotiate bilateral debt in 2018 as part of measures aimed at restructuring the economy and...

Load More