Short Report: Relative Risk of Hepatitis A and E among Foreigners in Nepal

View More View Less
  • Department of Virology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand
Restricted access

Sera from two groups of patients in Nepal with acute hepatitis were examined for the presence of antibodies to the hepatitis A, B, C, and E viruses to determine the etiology of viral hepatitis. The first group consisted of 43 consecutive acute hepatitis patients presenting at a clinic for tourists and foreign residents in Kathmandu from January 1987 to June 1988. The other group consisted of 95 consecutive acute hepatitis patients admitted during the same period at a hospital used predominantly by adult Nepalese residents of Kathmandu. Hepatitis A was diagnosed in 39 (91%) of the foreign patients and in one of the 95 Nepalese patients, whereas hepatitis E was diagnosed in four of the 43 foreign patients and in 90 (95%) of the Nepalese patients. No cases of hepatitis B or C were identified in either group, nor were any cases of dual infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) identified. These results suggest that in the Kathmandu Valley, hepatitis A is the predominant form of hepatitis among foreigners, hepatitis E is the predominant form of hepatitis among adult Nepalese, and both HAV and HEV are endemic to the Kathmandu Valley.