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No need to panic over hepatitis E in some pork products, says scientist

Doctor Stephen Korsman said that consumers should cook all pork properly as this will render the hepatitis E virus non-infectious.

Picture: Unsplash.com

CAPE TOWN - A National Health Laboratory Service scientist said there was no need to panic over pork.

This despite tests having found traces of the Hepatitis E virus in some pork products sold in Cape Town.

Doctor Stephen Korsman said that consumers should cook all pork properly as this will render the hepatitis E virus non-infectious.

As part of a research project, virologists bought pork products, from two different shops to test for hepatitis E.

Through a laboratory process called a polymerase chain reaction, the presence of the virus was detected in two liver spreads.

Korsman said, however, there was no cause for concern as antibodies against hepatitis E were found in a typical pattern of slow levels of infection in the population as people got older.

The scientist said that the risks came from uncooked or inadequately cooked pig-derived products.

The Hepatitis virus can cause jaundice, lack of appetite and nausea.

In rare cases, it may lead to acute liver failure.

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