Hepatitis found in one in 10 sausages
Published:  17 September, 2013
Hepatitis E found in sausages

Ten per cent of sausages could contain a deadly strain of the hepatitis E virus, according to a new study by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The report stated that one in 10 sausages sampled at point of sale from UK retailers tested positive for the virus, although hepatitis E does not cause disease in pigs.

It further explained that the virus could be transmitted through undercooked products from infected animals and could potentially be fatal, particularly in pregnant women.

In the report, Defra stated: “The majority of hepatitis E cases in UK are non-travel-related and a study has shown that they were infected by HEV genotype 3 similar to that carried by British pigs.”

Immune deficiency, chronic liver disease, old age and pregnancy are factors linked to moderate to severe disease and cases of hepatitis E increased by 39.5% from 2011 to 2012, with the mortality rate in the general population being between 1-3%.

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