The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported increased transmission of hepatitis E in South Sudan. From January 2019 to August 2021, Bentiu refugee camp has reported 1,001 cases, including nine deaths, with most cases being identified as males between the ages of 15 and 44 years. A significant number of cases have also been reported from outside the camp, indicating widespread transmission in the area. Regional flooding has led to population movement, which may increase regional and cross-border spread of infection.
Advice for travellers
Hepatitis E is a common cause of acute viral hepatitis. Travellers at highest risk of infection are those:
- travelling to regions with poor sanitation and hygiene, such as aid workers and disaster relief volunteers
- planning to consume local dishes of raw or undercooked pork products or shellfish during travel
All travellers should be given advice on:
This advice must be emphasised to pregnant and immunosuppressed travellers, including those with solid-organ transplants.
There is no vaccine available for use in the UK.
Further advice and information on Hepatitis E is available on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Source: TRAVAX, 6 September 2021