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J Med Virol. 2005 Aug;76(4):520-5.

Surveillance of acute hepatitis C in Cairo, Egypt.

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Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.


Surveillance of acute hepatitis has been set up in two fever hospitals in Cairo to diagnose acute hepatitis C. Patients were categorized as definite acute hepatitis C with positive hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA and without anti-HCV antibody, or probable acute hepatitis C with positive HCV RNA, positive anti-HCV antibody, alanine aminotransferase >/=4 times the upper limit of normal (ULN), and high risk parenteral exposure in the 1--3 months prior to the beginning of symptoms. From May to November 2002, 315 patients were recruited in the study. Of these, 115 (36.5%) had acute hepatitis A, 89 (28.3%) had acute hepatitis B, and 111 (35.2%) had non-A non-B acute hepatitis. Of the total with complete data (n=309), 12 (3.9%, 95% CI=2.0%-6.7%) had definite acute hepatitis C, and 11 (3.6%, 95% CI=1.8%-6.3%) had probable acute hepatitis C. In patients with definite acute hepatitis C, dental exposure (n=5) and intravenous drug use (n=2), were the only high risk procedures found in the 6 months prior to diagnosis. Five patients had no identifiable parenteral exposure. In conclusion, results from this study suggest that acute hepatitis C can be diagnosed by surveillance of acute hepatitis in hospital settings in Cairo and that minor community exposures contribute substantially to local HCV transmission.

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