First Reported Outbreak of Hepatitis E in the Philippines, 2010


Background: In March 2010, alarming reports of 26 jaundice cases from one municipality in Iloilo province was received by the Event-Based Surveillance and Response Unit. In the past 2 years, only 13 cases of Hepatitis were reported for the whole province and none from this municipality. A team was sent to do an epidemiological investigation to verify the outbreak, identify its source and recommend control measures. Methods: A case-control study was done. A case was a person from Village X, who manifested acute jaundice, with or without fever, with any of the following: body malaise, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, positive for Hepatitis antibody from December 20, 2009 to March 18, 2010. A control was a person from Village X, negative for Hepatitis antibody. Blood samples were collected for antibody testing. Samples from 7 water sources were sent to the laboratory. Results: Thirty-nine cases were identified. Ages ranged from 6-47 years (median 16). Fifteen (38%) were students from the nat