Hepatitis E is now a notifiable disease


Hepatitis E has now been added to the list of notifiable diseases in Ireland. All medical practitioners and laboratories are required to notify hepatitis E to the Medical Officer of Health.

Hepatitis E virus is believed to be one of the most common causes of acute hepatitis worldwide with an increasing number of human cases being identified across Europe. Hepatitis E infection was traditionally associated with poor hygiene and transmission by the faecal-oral route in developing countries. However, it is now recognised as an emerging disease in many developed countries. Hepatitis E infections have been linked to the consumption of raw or undercooked pork or game meat. Transmission through occupational exposure to animals, particularly pigs, has also been reported. Hepatitis E has been found to be transmitted through infected blood products in several countries.

Hepatitis E is usually a self-limiting illness but it can result in liver failure in patients with pre-existing liver disease and in women infected during the third trimester of pregnancy. It may lead to chronic hepatitis in immunosuppressed patients.

Further information on hepatitis E