Nigerian health officials are reporting outbreaks of hepatitis E and cholera in two different states in the country.

Nigeria/Alvaro1984 18
Nigeria/Alvaro1984 18

Hepatitis E

A hepatitis E outbreak has been reported in the north-east Borno State, according to the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health.

As of 17 June 2017, a total of 53 suspected hepatitis E cases with no fatality have been reported from Damasak and Ngala Local Government Areas (LGA).  At least three pregnant women were among these cases.

Four out of nine biological samples obtained from the initial cases tested positive for hepatitis E virus at a virology laboratory in Lagos, thus confirming the outbreak.

The current hepatitis E outbreak in the north-east Borno State of Nigeria is taking place within the context of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the northern part of the country. The outbreak is occurring in the aftermath of increasing population movements within the Lake Chad basin, following the gradually improving security situation. The Diffa region in Niger and the Salamat region in Chad have ongoing outbreaks of hepatitis E.


In addition, health officials have reported an outbreak of cholera in Kwara State in the western part of the country.  The initial cases of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) started during the last week of April 2017.

As of 14 June 2017, a total of 1,178 suspected cases and nine deaths (case fatality rate 0.8%) have been reported. Four local government areas have been affected, including Ilorin West (508 cases), Ilorin East (303 cases), Ilorin South (96 cases), and Moro (37 cases).

The World Health Organization (WHO) says while Nigeria has ample capacity to respond to cholera outbreaks, this outbreak comes at a time when the country is already constrained by the ongoing humanitarian emergency and multiple diseases outbreaks. Many staff and resources are already committed in the response to this humanitarian situation.