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

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  • Department of Virology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand
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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.

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