10 March, Kathmandu: As the summer is all set to set in, doctors have advised pregnant women to observe precautions for they are most vulnerable to Hepatitis A and E.
Since the viruses causing these communicable diseases are highly active during the summer, it is advised that we all adopt preventive measures. Hepatitis A and E are contracted through contaminated water, undercooked meal and saliva.
Hepatitis E accounts for 30 per cent of the deaths among the pregnant women, according to Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, virologist at the Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases (STID) Centre at Teku in the capital city.
According to Dr Pun, there are five types of Hepatitis detected so far. They are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D and Hepatitis E. All these infections are contracted by hepatotropic viruses and infect the liver.
Vaccine against Hepatitis A has been developed but it is yet to be available in Nepal. The vaccine against Hepatitis E, however, has not been developed yet, 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. RSS