You are reading Hepatitis E, did you know that eating rare meat increases the risk?


Hepatitis E, did you know that eating rare meat increases the risk?

January 1, 2018


Although sporadic in Europe and the United States, Hepatitis E infection, more common in the developing countries, can be contracted by eating uncooked meat – explains Dr. Roberto Ceriani, Head of Hepatology Day and Interventional Hepatology of Humanitas. – Viral contamination occurs via fecal-oral, so the most common source of infection in these geographic areas is contaminated water. However, in Western countries there have been cases of infection after consumption of meat or pig extracts, wild boar or deer, all very little or non-cooked, but also from mollusks, such as the recent case of an epidemic of Hepatitis E on a cruise ship. Most patients recover, but there is a serious risk and mortality in women in the third trimester of pregnancy, in patients with liver disease and in transplant patients in whom, however, the disease can become chronic. Hepatitis E manifests as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light stools and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), which develop after 2-8 weeks after exposure to the virus. To avoid contagion, which occurs only through contaminated food and drinks, it is advisable to cook pork or game well, drink bottled water, even if the boiling and chlorination of the water inactivate the virus E.

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