Notes from the field: Hepatitis E Outbreak Among Refugees from South Sudan - Gambella, Ethiopia, April 2014- January 2015
AuthorsBrowne, L B
Elyas, H Z
Maung, U A
Nakao, J H
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AbstractIn early April 2014, two South Sudanese refugees in the Gambella region of western Ethiopia experienced acute onset of jaundice, accompanied by fever. One patient was a pregnant woman aged 24 years evaluated at a routine prenatal clinic visit in Leitchour refugee camp. The second patient was a malnourished boy aged 1 year who resided in Tierkidi refugee camp. The boy died despite hospitalization. During the last 2 weeks of May, four more cases of acute jaundice syndrome (AJS), defined as yellow discoloration of the eyes, were detected in Leitchuor. By mid-June, an additional 50 AJS cases were reported across three large camps in the region, Kule, Leitchuor, and Tierkidi, with 45 (90%) of these cases reported in Leitchuor. Sera collected from a convenience sample of 21 AJS cases were sent to Addis Ababa and Nairobi for real-time polymerase chain reaction testing; 12 (57%) were positive for hepatitis E virus (HEV) RNA. By January 2015, a total of 1,117 suspected cases of hepatitis E meeting the case definition of AJS were reported among refugees in camps across Gambella.
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