Hepatitis E Virus Found in 10% of Sausages Tested in Britain
—Christine. M. Kukka, Project Manager, HBV Advocate
British researchers have found the
hepatitis E virus in 10% of sausages sampled, according to a report
issued by Britain’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural
Affairs. The virus, once unknown in Britain and North America, is
found in pigs. In Britain, the number of hepatitis E infections have
risen 40% in the past year.
The virus poses a
particular danger to people with chronic hepatitis B, and to pregnant
women. According to the report, around one in 50 of those infected
will die as do one in five pregnant women.
Hepatitis E has been included in a UK report for the first time after increasing evidence that it is a foodborne disease zoonoses
Confirmed hepatitis E cases have significantly increased in recent years, with 657 cases reported in the UK in 2012, a 39.5% increase since 2011 from foodborne and non-foodorned sources.
10% of port sausages sampled at point of sale from UK retailers were positive for hepatitis E virus, and similar findings have been reported from other European laboratories, according to a study in the journal Epidemiology & Infection. (See note 42 in this report)