By NewsDesk @bactiman63
From early September through November 23 this year, there have been a total of 450 cases of febrile jaundice detected in Barsalogho health district, North Central Region of Burkina Faso, according to UN officials.
Hepatitis E has been confirmed in ten cases to date.
The outbreak has mainly affected internally displaced persons in the district, including 15 out of 16 deaths that were among pregnant or postpartum women.
The clinical course of hepatitis E is similar to that of hepatitis A with no chronic form of the disease. Jaundice, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy are common symptoms.
People are infected primarily through the fecal-oral route, usually through contaminated water or food. There have been several cases of hepatitis E infection in France due to eating raw figatellu, which is made with pig liver.
Much like hepatitis A, the fatality rate is low with the exception of pregnant women where it can reach 20% among those infected in the third trimester. Liver failure is a frequent outcome with pregnant women.
Hepatitis E is found endemically in countries that have inadequate environmental sanitation. It is most frequently seen in Asia, Africa, Central America and the Middle East.
According to WHO, every year, there are an estimated 20 million hepatitis E infections worldwide, leading to an estimated 3.3 million symptomatic cases of hepatitis E, and 56,600 hepatitis E-related deaths.
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