Hepatitis E is on the increase in Uganda’s northern district of Pader, where it has claimed scores of lives and infected thousands in the past year, officials said. Since May, there have been 55 new infections and seven deaths in Pader, according to Angelo Luganya, a health official in Pader.
Since 2007, the viral disease has infected up to 8,000 people in neighbouring Kitgum district alone, and killed 129. The disease has since spread to the districts of Pader, Gulu, Adjumani and Amuru.
Hepatitis E is transmitted mainly by drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food.
[T]he majority of those infected in the district were internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Poor sanitation has contributed to the spread of the disease, with some IDPs lacking pit latrines and others drinking unsafe water from unprotected sources, leaving them prone to infection.
Read more: IRIN, 13 Oct 2008