Hong Kong: Human infection of rat Hepatitis E virus being investigated


news desk Laugh

Health officials in Hong Kong reported investigating a human case of hepatitis E virus (HEV).

Rattus norvegicus / National Park Service

The case is of a 28-year-old man with underlying diseases. He was found to be suffering from impaired liver function during his follow-up at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The patient is now in stable condition. His blood sample tested positive for mouse HEV on lab tests.

Epidemiological investigations conducted by the Center for Health Protection (CHP’s) revealed that the patient resided in Ho Man Tin. He had no contact with rodents or mice, and had no travel history during the incubation period.

“Based on the available epidemiological information, the source and route of infection cannot be determined. The CHP investigation is underway,” a CHP spokesperson said.

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The exact mode of transmission of murine HEV to humans is currently unknown. Possible routes of transmission include ingestion of food or water contaminated with rodents or their droppings, exposure to environments or objects contaminated with rodents or their droppings, and direct contact with rodents or their droppings. The usual human-causing HEV virus is transmitted mainly through the fecal-oral route.

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