In a follow-up to a report on the hepatitis A outbreak in Mombasa, Kenya, scores of additional cases of the viral illness have been reported in April bringing the outbreak total to 114, according to local media.
Officials report that the disease was spreading fast in four constituencies in Mombasa County–Mvita, Changamwe, Kisauni and Likoni.
Illegal bottled water is being investigated as water kiosks have been closed all over Mombasa County. In addition, raids will also be conducted on makeshift eateries and mishikaki (grilled meat joints) suspected to be serving contaminated food.
Some key facts about hepatitis A include:
- Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness.
- The hepatitis A virus is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person.
- Almost everyone recovers fully from hepatitis A, but very small proportions die from fulminant hepatitis.
- Hepatitis A infection risk is associated with a lack of safe water and poor sanitation.
- Epidemics can be explosive and cause significant economic loss.
- Improved sanitation and the hepatitis A vaccine are the most effective ways to combat the disease.
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