… Havana residents, living in filth, unsurprised by hepatitis E outbreak
By Alwonia M Izaaks
In the midst of a hepatitis E outbreak, which has already seen nearly 500 cases being reported to the Ministry of Health and Social Services, residents of the Havana informal settlement are still waking up each day without proper toilet and other sanitation facilities, and continue to defecate in bushes and in riverbeds, putting them at an increasing risk of becoming infected.
The ministry revealed last Thursday, during a media conference, that Havana is the most affected informal settlement, which is staggering under the current hepatitis E outbreak, with 249 reported cases.
Residents, who have been living in their own filth and with no potable water and toilets for years, say this is unsurprising to them.
Magdalena Shikalepo said on Monday that she, like many other Havana residents, use the bush when nature calls.
Hepatitis E is a viral hepatitis (liver inflammation), caused by infection with a virus called the hepatitis E, and is one of five known human hepatitis viruses – A, B, C, D and E.
It is spread mainly via the faecal-oral route due to the faecal contamination of water supplies or food, and person-to-person transmission is uncommon.
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