Friday, 22 October 2010

Hepatitis E - three dead, 55 infected - linked to pig farming


More information is slowly becoming available about the Hepatitis E investigation in Cornwall and Devon. 

See Hepatitis E linked to British pigs and pork for previous report.

We now know that there have been three human deaths being possibly linked to pigs and pork. There have been problems with pig health in the area for some years.

News report in full here

Friday, October 22, 2010

Research launched as rare virus is linked to three deaths in West

A rare strain of the liver disease Hepatitis E has been identified as the cause of three deaths in Cornwall.

Researchers are now beginning a two-year study into the virus strain, thought to be transmitted through pigs.

In addition to the deaths, it is thought 55 people have been struck down by the disease in Devon and Cornwall.

Medical experts are warning people to make sure they cook any pork products well and wash their hands thoroughly if they handle it raw...

...Dr Harry Dalton, consultant gastroenterologist at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust and head of the Cornish team, said: "Not only had the patients not travelled abroad but they didn't fit the normal age range for the virus.

"In other parts of the world it usually affects the young. However, in the cases being seen in the UK, it is the middle-aged and elderly, particularly men."

It is believed that the main vectors of the disease are pigs and products derived from pigs...

...Patients with an existing liver condition are most at risk from Hepatitis E. The researchers will examine patients with liver problems who have been admitted to hospital with a worsening of their condition, to see whether the problems have been caused by exposure to Hepatitis E...