Published Date: 2012-05-22 00:31:17
Subject: PRO/EAFR> Hepatitis E virus - Uganda: (Pader)
Archive Number: 20120522.253125
HEPATITIS E VIRUS - UGANDA: (PADER)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Mon 21 May 2012
Source: Daily Monitor [edited]
Residents of Acholi-bur sub-county in Pader district are living in fear after one person died and 2 other suspected cases of hepatitis E were reported in the area.
The deceased, a resident of Ogago parish, is said to have died last week [week ending 20 May 2012] after showing signs and symptoms similar to those of the disease, which left scores dead in Kitgum and Pader districts last year .
Hepatitis E is a condition related to unhygienic environments, and its earlier outbreak in the region in 2008 was associated with the unfriendly conditions in IDP camps. Its symptoms are mild and last for a couple of weeks. They include fatigue, a sore throat, joint pain and excessive tiredness. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. Although not chronic, the disease has no cure, and the only action that can be taken is to relieve the symptoms through rehydration. If the patient survives the infection, the virus disappears, and the liver recovers.
Although many people have left the IDP camps to return to their homes, many health needs are still unmet, as latrine and clean water coverage is still minimal. According to the sub-county chairperson, Mr Charles Okot, his office has launched an awareness campaign for all residents in the sub-county and nearby areas to observe maximum hygiene in their homes.
"Sanitation in the sub-county has drastically dropped. The community does not seem to care anymore, thus creating room for the disease to re-emerge," Mr Okot said. The in-charge Acholi-bur Health Centre III, Mr Michael Owiny, said that with the laxity in the area, the disease is bound to spread further. "We diagnosed the deceased at this health centre, but we have to wait and come out with detailed information to confirm the outbreak," Mr Owiny said.
The District Health Officer, Dr Jane Oola, however, said her office is not aware of the disease outbreak but pledged to send a team of health officials to investigate the reports.
[Byline: Jacky Adure]
[Cases of hepatitis E virus were initially reported from Madi Opei sub-county, Kitgum district (currently located in Lamwo district) in November 2007 [ProMED report 20080304.0894]. The cases were linked to inadequate sanitation and safe water facilities in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. Cases eventually spread to the neighbouring districts of Pader, West Nile and even Karamoja sub-regions [ProMED reports 20080512.1612 and 20110613.1803]. The current cases in Pader have been linked to persistent shortages of safe water in the district. The authorities have sent out a team to investigate the current reports. Any additional information on the recent cases reported from Pader will be appreciated.
The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Uganda can be seen athttp://healthmap.org/r/0Yfn. Pader district in northern Uganda can be located on the map athttp://molg.go.ug/Content/images/uganda_2010.gif. - Mod.JFW]