100+ dead in S Sudan hepatitis E outbreak

2013-02-15 14:06

(http://www.shutterstock.com )

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - More than 100 people have died in the past six months in a worsening outbreak of hepatitis E among refugees in South Sudan, the UN's refugee agency warned on Friday.

"Hepatitis E is endemic in the region, but among refugees has contaminated 6 017 people and led to 111 deaths since July," the UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters in Geneva.

Last November, the UNHCR had tallied just 1,050 cases and 26 deaths from the virus, which is spread through the consumption of contaminated food and water and damages the liver, among some 180 000 Sudanese refugees living in the Upper Nile and Unity states of the fledgling country.

On Friday, Edwards said the largest number of cases and suspected cases had emerged in the Yusuf Batil camp in Upper Nile State, which is home to more than 37 000 refugees and has seen 3 937 cases, or 70% of the total, and 77 deaths.

Most of the remaining cases were found in three other Upper Nile camps, while the situation in Unity State further to the west was "less dramatic", Edwards said.

Edwards pointed out that most of the refugees in camps heavily impacted by the disease were from Blue Nile State in Sudan, "where there are few established toilet facilities and uncontaminated water is not readily available."

"UNHCR believes the growth in the population due to the refugee influx from Blue Nile could be one of the factors in the rapid spread of the disease," he said, stressing that the risk of contracting hepatitis E could be "dramatically reduced" by washing hands with soap after using the toilet, drinking clean water and avoiding eating uncooked fruits and vegetables.

Emergency measures were being taken to curb the infection rate, including building latrines, and increasing soap distribution and access to clean water, Edwards said.

Read more on:    un  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Prince George the green prince?
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.