Emergencies preparedness, response

Hepatitis E in Chad - update 3

15 September 2004

Between 26 June and 12 September a total of 1292 cases and 42 deaths (case fatality rate 3.3%) of suspected hepatitis E cases have been reported from refugee camps Goz Amer, Goz Abal and neighbouring villages. The overall weekly number of reported cases is gradually decreasing.

A preliminary assessment of the water and sanitation situation in Goz Amer conducted by the WHO investigation team has shown that the location of water points and latrines in the camp does not ensure water safety and that current methods for water chlorination are not effective.

Urgent control measures recommended include the systematic chlorination of all water points in the camp, increasing soap distribution, and social mobilization and health education activities to improve the community's awareness of the disease and understanding of control measures.

Further epidemiological studies are currently being conducted to identify potential sources of infection.