According to news reports, Lesotho and Namibia are facing serious disease outbreaks of measles and hepatitis E…

Lesotho is facing a measles outbreak while the outbreak of hepatitis E in Namibia was being closely monitored, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Lesotho’s measles outbreak

The measles outbreak in Lesotho is the first in nearly 10 years. The WHO has encouraged health officials in Maseru, the capital city, to improve their disease surveillance.

Measles is one of the most contagious but preventable diseases. However, due to a lack of access to vaccination and refusals to be vaccinated, measles infects more than seven million people and kills more than 100 000 worldwide annually. According to WHO, measles infections tripled in early 2019.

Study: Measles wipes out the body’s immune memory

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Namibia’s hepatitis E outbreak

In Namibia, over 6 000 cases of hepatitis E have been reported since 20 October 2019. The outbreak started in Windhoek’s informal settlements in 2017.

Hepatitis E is a vaccine-preventable disease that is most commonly transmitted through contaminated water or food.

Could you have hepatitis?

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