Since Feb. 2017, Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection was confirmed in 8  local government areas (LGAs) of Borno, with transmission still ongoing in Rann Kala Balge.

Nigeria map/CIA

The total number of jaundice cases reported since that time is 1262.

A total of 226 specimens were collected in 10 LGAs, of these 182 tested positive using IgM HEV antibody ELISA Technique. The proportion of positive sample for HEV infection is 81%.

Seven deaths were reported among acute jaundice cases and one death among a confirmed HEV case in Mobbar LGA.

Hepatitis E infection is found worldwide. The virus is shed in the stools of infected persons, and enters the human body through the intestine. It is transmitted mainly through contaminated drinking water. Usually the infection is self-limiting and resolves within 2–6 weeks. Occasionally a serious disease, known as fulminant hepatitis (acute liver failure) develops, and a proportion of people with this disease can die.

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.