Hepatitis E rampant among Pregnant Women in South Sudan – Experts

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An outbreak of Hepatitis E, which is said to be more rampant and fatal among pregnant women, has been reported in South Sudan.

The outbreak of the virus occurs when there is conflict, like a war situation, which causes displacement of people and provides conducive environment for the spread of the virus as currently experienced in South Sudan.

In a bid to control the virus, the South Sudan government is administering Hecolin vaccine (Hepatitis E) though “the fight against Hepatitis E has been long and frustrating,” the Meducal Director, Dr Monica Rull of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said.

“With the experience of this vaccination campaign, we hope to change the way we tackle hepatitis E in the future,” he added.

Hepatitis B is spread through unprotected sex with an infected person, and when blood, semen, or other body fluids from a person infected with the virus enters the body.

People infected with Hepatitis B and C are likely to suffer from liver cirrhosis, which causes cancer of the liver.

The Hepatitis E outbreaks came at a time the country joined the globe to celebrate the World Hepatitis Day.

Large outbreaks reported in South Sudan are attributed to poor sanitation and shortage of water.

However, there is no specific treatment for Hepatitis E, which as a fatality rate of up to 25 percent, among pregnant women, and also increases the risk of spontaneous abortions and stillbirths.