Researchers have warned that hepatitis E can lead to acute liver failure in pregnant women.
A recent research has revealed that hepatitis E is transmitted via contaminated drinking water. It is responsible for causing acute liver failure in about 60 percent of pregnant females.
The researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), India observed around 1,000 hospital admissions between January 1986 and December 2006. The volunteers were aged between 15 to 45 years.
They examined occurrence of hepatitis E in 249 pregnant women and contrasted with the infection in 341 non-pregnant ladies and 425 men.
Hepatitis E led to acute liver failure in about 60 percent of pregnant women and 30 percent of non-pregnant women.
The experts noted that pregnant females were susceptible to the infection of hepatitis E. S.K. Acharya, head of department of a gastroenterology at AIIMS said, “There is a general liver insufficiency or weakness during pregnancy. So, Hepatitis E virus has a higher attack rate and progression in pregnant women.”
He further added, “The mortality rate among hepatic pregnant women was found to be over 50 percent.”
The study highlighted the important fact that pregnant women are vulnerable to hepatitis E. They should be more particular about the safety of drinking water, personal hygiene and personal sanitation.
Hepatitis virus is present in five strains- types A, B, C, D and E. Besides from viral infection, hepatitis can also be precipitated by drugs, alcohol, chemicals, autoimmune disorders and fatty liver.