Hong Kong Med J 1997;3:79-82 | Number 1, March 1997
Hepatitis A and E in Hong Kong
JY Lai
Department of Medicine, Princess Margaret Hospital, Laichikok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Acute viral hepatitis is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in Hong Kong and hepatitis A accounts for two thirds or more of reported cases. Improved sanitation has led to a decline in hepatitis A infection in childhood but more clinically overt adult cases now occur. Shellfish ingestion and recent travel are important risk factors. A highly immunogenic and effective inactivated hepatitis A vaccine is available. Hepatitis E is of emerging importance as a cause of acute hepatitis. Large outbreaks have occurred in China and other developing countries; sporadic cases occur in Hong Kong. High mortality is associated with hepatitis E complicating late pregnancy. Serological diagnosis by enzyme immunoassay for anti-HEV is available. The education of travellers to endemic areas is advised with special caution being given to pregnant women. A vaccine for hepatitis E is not yet available.
Key words: Hepatitis A; Hepatitis E; Hepatitis, viral, human
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