Friday July 12 2013

Suspected hepatitis E outbreak reported in Moroto

Police and health officials force Moroto Municipality residents

Police and health officials force Moroto Municipality residents to clean up their environment recently. Hepatitis E is associated with poor hygiene. Photo by Steven Ariong 

By Steven Ariong

Moroto- Fear has gripped residents of Moroto Municipality following a suspected outbreak of the hepatitis E virus.

Suspected cases have been reported in the south and north divisions of the municipality, with 40 cases registered since last week.
Sister Marry Napeyok, the Moroto Municipal health inspector, said the villages of Nakapelimen and Naruwothy in South Division, and Natumukathwo in the North Division have the highest registered cases.

“Those whom we registered with the symptoms have not yet been admitted to the hospital, but they are receiving treatment from various health centres,” She said.

The Moroto District health officer, Dr Michael Ebele Omeke, confirmed the cases, but said samples have been sent to Kampala for tests. “We have not yet proved whether it is hepatitis E, until we get the results from the Central Public Health Laboratory,” he said.

The disease
Hepatitis E is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis E virus: a non-enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded ribonucleic acid virus. The hepatitis E virus is transmitted mainly through contaminated drinking water. It is usually a self-limiting infection and resolves within 4–6 weeks. There are approximately 20 million infections every year.