Pregnant women more at risk of hepatitis A, E

Kathmandu, March 10

As summer is about to set in, doctors have advised pregnant women to take precautions against communicable diseases, especially hepatitis A and E.

The viruses that cause communicable diseases are highly active during summer. Hepatitis A and E can be contracted through contaminated water, under-cooked meal or direct contact.

"Hepatitis E accounts for 30 per cent of deaths among pregnant women," says Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, virologist at Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Centre, Kathmandu.

According to Dr Pun, there are five types of hepatitis--A to E. All these infections are contracted by hepatotropic viruses and they infect the liver.

"There is a vaccine against hepatitis A but it is not yet available in Nepal," added Dr Pun.

Symptoms of Hepatitis E include fever, fatigue, common cold, loss of appetite, jaundice among others.

Three persons were recently confirmed contracting Hepatitis E at the STID although the outbreak often starts and escalates in mid-summer and monsoon.