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Hepatitis E cases increasing slightlyHepatitis E cases increasing slightly

Hepatitis E cases increasing slightlyHepatitis E cases increasing slightly

Zorena Jantze


THE infection rate of Hepatitis E disease which has ravaged most of Namibia’s informal settlements has picked up again with 21 cases reported country-wide over the past two months.


This is according to the latest situation report provided by the Ministry of Health and Social Service. The report noted that from 05 – 18 October 2020, a total of 21 Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) cases were reported country-wide, compared to 16 cases reported during the previous reporting period, 21 September – 04 October 2020.


This indicates an increase in the number of HEV cases reported in the last two weeks, nationally.


A total of 66 HEV deaths have been reported nationally (Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 0.8%). Among the 66 deaths, 27 are maternal deaths, representing 41% of the total HEV deaths and 6.2% of all the reported maternal HEV cases during this period.


infection rate Hepatitis E disease Namibia informal settlements
COLLECTING WATER: Boys in the Goreangab informal settlement using a communal water point to collect water. – Photo: Jacobus Retief.


Since January 2020 to date, five (5) HEV deaths were recorded of which two are maternal deaths, one occurred in February 2020 and the other one in September 2020, which was the last death recorded thus far.


Of the total 21 cases reported during the current reporting period (05 – 18 October 2020), the Erongo Region reported the highest number 8 (38%), followed by Khomas 5 (24%) cases, Omusati and Otjozondjupa reported 4 (19%) cases each. The rest of the regions did not report any case during the reporting period.


In the last 8 weeks (24 August 2020 – 18 October 2020), a total of 68 HEV cases were reported nationwide, with Erongo reporting 34 (50%) followed by Khomas Region with 16 (24%) cases, Otjozondjupa 9 (13%) cases, Omusati 8 (12%) cases, and Hardap reported 1 (1%) case, the rest of the regions did not report any case.


As of 18 October 2020, a cumulative number of 7983 HEV cases were reported since the outbreak began. This includes 2084 laboratory-confirmed, 4524 Epi-linked, and 1375 suspected cases.
A cumulative of 2157 specimens tested negative for Hepatitis E and were therefore discarded.


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