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Namibia: Hepatitis E Outbreak - Dec 2017

On 18 December 2017, the Namibian Ministry of Health notified WHO of an outbreak of hepatitis E occurring in Windhoek, the capital and largest city. On 19 October 2017, a hospital in Windhoek began registering patients with signs of acute viral hepatitis who tested negative for hepatitis A, B, and C, which are commonly diagnosed at the local laboratory. Twenty-seven samples from these patients were sent to a private laboratory for hepatitis E testing. As of 20 December 2017, nine tested positive, five negative, twelve are pending, and one is missing. One death (case fatality rate 3.7%) has been reported; a woman who died four days after giving birth. Twenty-six patients (96%) were reported from six residential areas in Windhoek district; one was reported from Rehoboth district. Eight of the nine confirmed cases were residents of the Havana informal settlement in Windhoek. ([WHO, 22 Dec 2017](

The capital city of Windhoek is on high alert after an outbreak of Hepatitis E that has claimed three lives, while 554 people are undergoing treatment. Namibia has been battling Hepatitis E since mid-December 2017, after the first cases were detected in an informal settlement of Windhoek. The number has since been rising steadily. ([IFRC, 9 Feb 2018](

The outbreak of hepatitis E in Windhoek, Namibia continues, with a steady decline in trend. In the past four weeks (weeks ending 11 February to 11 March 2018), a total of 314 additional cases and seven deaths (case fatality rate 2.2%) have been reported. In week 10 (week ending 11 March 2018), 44 new cases were reported compared to 48 and 60 cases reported during weeks 9 and 8, respectively. As of 11 March 2018, eight patients were in admission, three of them in the postpartum period. The last confirmed case was admitted on 13 March 2018. Since the beginning of the outbreak on 8 September 2017, a cumulative total of 957 cases and 10 deaths (case fatality rate 1%) have been reported, as of 11 March 2018. ([WHO, 16 Mar 2018](

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