Undercooked pork could cause hepatitis E

Many hundreds & thousands of people are affected from Hepatitis B & C. but although few of them heard of hepatitis E that is on rise & experts are concerned that it is often under diagnosed. Each type of hepatitis has a different cause, but all attack the liver, causing inflammation. The symptoms vary, but hepatitis E can cause jaundice.

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One of the liver’s jobs is to process bilirubin, a waste product formed from old red blood cells. If the liver isn’t working properly, bilirubin builds up in the blood, leading to the characteristic yellow hue. The worry is that the disease puts patients at risk of severe liver damage or cirrhosis, where the liver becomes scarred & is unable to function, leading to liver failure, which can be fatal.

Hepatitis E can be transmitted through blood transfusions & by eating contaminated shellfish. Experts consider that the main culprit is pig. Around 85 % of swine have been infected with the virus. By coming into contact with pig waste, perhaps through a contaminated water supply or eating undercooked pork, many people are unknowingly contracting the disease.

The source and route of hepatitis E infection are uncertain, but the most convincing evidence suggests that it is an infection derived from pigs. Another possible method of transmission is through eating undercooked pork. Pork should be cooked thoroughly & stored, handled & prepared properly.

So how common is this new disease? 16 % of blood donors have antibodies to the virus, meaning they have come into contact with it at some point. The disease is rife in the developing world. The problem is that hepatitis E in developed areas is often misdiagnosed. A side-effect of many drugs is damage to the liver & this is what might be blamed for the patient’s condition, rather than hepatitis E.

So stop eating under cooked pork liver. But if you can’t eat it the way you like it there isn’t much point anyway.


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