Questions and answers on the transmission of the hepatitis E virus through wild boars and domestic pigs and foods derived from them

FAQ to the BfR of 9 February 2016

Recent investigations conducted by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and other research institutions show that between 40% and 50% of domestic pigs from herds in Germany and between 2% and 68% of wild boars shot in Germany either showed indications of previous infection with the hepatitis E virus (HEV) or still carried it. The peculiarity here is that pigs and wild boars do not show any clinical symptoms after infection with the hepatitis E virus, i.e. they do not develop hepatitis. For humans, however, infection with HEV poses the risk of inflammation of the liver (hepatitis E). The BfR has prepared some questions and answers on the possibilities of human infection through contact with domestic pigs and wild boars and the consumption of foods derived from them.

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