Hepatitis E Virus in Chad
26 Jan 2017
On the 24 January 2017 the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported a Hepatitis E outbreak in Chad. A total of 693 cases have been reported between 1 September 2016 to 13 January 2017 from Am Timan, Chad. Of these cases 11 died of acute jaundice syndrome.
In response the WHO and the Ministry of Public Health are carrying out regional investigation to determine the extent of the outbreak. Additionally, the WHO country office is supporting surveillance strengthening outside of Am Timan, developing surveillance tools, case definition, case management protocols, algorithm testing and defining the criteria for hospitalisation.
The number of cases reported from the affected area appears to have plateaued in last 5 weeks, and the infectious risk seems confined to Am Timan and immediate surroundings.
Advice to travellers
The highest risk of infection is present for those travelling to regions with poor sanitation and hygiene. To prevent infection travellers should be advised to:
- Practice safe food and water hygiene.
- Avoid raw/undercooked pork/game products and shellfish.
No vaccine is available for use in the UK.