UN warns risk of hepatitis E in S. Sudan grows

The United Nations says an outbreak of hepatitis E has killed 111 refugees in camps in South Sudan since July, and has become endemic in the region.

Southern army spokesman Colonel Philip Aguer, left, and information minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin, right, at a press conference in Juba, Southern Sudan Sunday, May 22, 2011. (AP Photo/ Maggie Fick)

GENEVA (AP) — The United Nations says an outbreak of hepatitis E has killed 111 refugees in camps in South Sudan since July, and has become endemic in the region.

U.N. refugee agency spokesman Adrian Edwards says the influx of people to the camps from neighboring Sudan is believed to be one of the factors in the rapid spread of the contagious, life-threatening inflammatory viral disease of the liver.

Edwards said Friday that the camps have been hit by 6,017 cases of hepatitis E, which is spread through contaminated food and water.

He says the largest number of cases and suspected cases is in the Yusuf Batil camp in Upper Nile state, which houses 37,229 refugees fleeing fighting between rebels and the Sudanese government.
Associated Press
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