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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 189-193

Hepatitis E epidemic with bimodal peak in a town of north India


1 Department of Community Medicine, M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad University, Allahabad, U P, India
2 Population Council, Lodi Estate, New Delhi, India
3 High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, IVRI, Bhopal, India
4 Department of Virology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,Chandigarh, India
5 Department of Hepatology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,Chandigarh, India
6 School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
S Bali
Department of Community Medicine, M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad University, Allahabad, U P
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Introduction: An epidemic of viral hepatitis occurred in Mandi Gobindgarh town of Punjab in northern India during year 2005-06. An attempt was made to study the outbreak clinically, serologically, and etiologically. Methods: Line listing and spot mapping of all cases of jaundice presented to civil hospital was done. An active search of cases was made through house-tohouse visit with the help of 33 teams and 6 supervisors. Twenty two blood samples collected from acute cases were tested for anti-HAV IgM and anti-HEV IgM by ELISA. HEV specific PCR was also carried out. Sanitary survey was also done and water samples were tested for coliforms. Results: In house to house survey 3170 cases of jaundice were reported; of them 2171 (68.5%) were males. Mean age was 28.8 years. Overall attack rate was 5.2%. The epidemic continued for more than a year and bimodal peak was observed. Civil hospital campus which has separate water supply had no jaundice case. About 95% blood samples from icteric patients were found to be positive for IgM and IgG antibodies of HEV. Eighteen persons died during the epidemic, mostly in old age group. Case fatality ratio was 0.57%. No deaths occurred among 17 pregnant women who had developed hepatitis. Conclusion: The epidemic was caused by hepatitis E virus, which was transmitted due to faecal contamination of municipal water supply.


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