A hepatitis A outbreak has hospitalized 21 people in Mombasa, Kenya in recent days, according to local media.


The viral disease has been on the rise since January among schoolchildren. Mombasa Health executive Mohammed Abdi said, “We have got an outbreak of hepatitis A which we discovered in January in the schools around Mvita where we had a few cases which we made a follow up on and treated.

“Right now we have had a recurrence of the same over the Easter break.”

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.  A person can transmit the virus to others up to 2 weeks before and one week after symptoms appear.

Typical symptoms of hepatitis A include, but are not limited to: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

There are no specific treatments once a person gets hepatitis A.  However, it can be prevented through vaccination or through receipt of a medicine called immune globulin.  This medicine contains antibodies from other people who are immune to Hepatitis A.