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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2007 Oct;25(4):378-82.

Outbreak of acute viral hepatitis due to hepatitis E virus in Hyderabad.

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Sir Ronald Ross Institute of Tropical and Communicable Diseases, Government Fever Hospital, Hyderabad - 530 044, Andhra Pradesh, India.



A waterborne outbreak of viral hepatitis occurred in the old city of Hyderabad from March through August 2005. An attempt was made to study the outbreak clinically, serologically, and etiologically.


Five hundred and forty-six clinically and biochemically documented cases were screened for the hepatotropic viral markers, hepatitis A, B, C, and E by the ELISA method. Their demographic characteristics and outcomes were analyzed. Point source contamination of the water supply with sewerage was identified.


Our data confirms hepatitis E as the major cause of the outbreak (78.57%). Occasionally, mixed infection of HEV-HAV (5.31%) or HEV-HBV (0.91%) was detected in the present series of acute viral hepatitis.


HEV was confirmed as the major etiological agent in this outbreak that was transmitted by contaminated drinking water. The study highlights the importance of screening for both enterically transmitted hepatotropic viral markers as well as the parenterally transmitted hepatotropic viral markers during outbreaks of acute viral hepatitis.

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