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Resurgence of hepatitis E cases in New Caledonia

August 31, 2023 Health and social

The directorates of Health and Social Affairs of New Caledonia (DASS-NC) and Veterinary, Food and Rural Affairs (DAVAR-NC) inform the population of the intensification of cases of hepatitis E during the month of August 2023 (11 hepatitis E confirmed this month).

Hepatitis E is an asymptomatic disease in half of the cases. Otherwise, the virus is manifested by the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, often followed by jaundice. The main modes of transmission are human-to-human, by the faecal-oral route and by ingestion of raw or undercooked meat, pork offal or deer.

The first symptoms appear 20 to 45 days after infection. Contagiousness is maximum 2 weeks before and 1 week after the acute phase of hepatitis.

Adopting simple gestures can prevent transmission

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 30 seconds, or with hydro-alcoholic gel if there is no water point; Consume only drinking water; If the disease is confirmed, ensure the eviction (8-10 days) from communities (school, etc.) and prohibit the handling of foodstuffs.

Most of the time, it is a mild disease, but it can lead to complications (fulminant hepatitis) in pregnant women, immunocompromised people or people with chronic liver damage.

The consumption of foods containing raw pork or deer meat or offal, raw fish products, poorly washed vegetables is not recommended for these people. Consult your doctor in case of symptoms.

The ongoing investigation by the competent authorities does not, to date, make it possible to determine the origin of the transmission of the virus. A press release informing about developments in the investigation will be published as soon as new elements are known.