Hong Kong health officials report investigating three cases of human infection of rat Hepatitis E virus (HEV).

Rattus norvegicus/National Park Service

Two of the cases, men aged 81 and 67, are stable and did not require hospitalization. A third case involves a 74-year-old man with underlying illnesses, who had presented with liver function derangement. He was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital for management due to underlying illnesses on April 28 and had passed away on May 4.

Laboratory testing on all the three patients tested positive for rat HEV.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health report that investigations reveal the three patients resided in Kowloon City, Southern District and Tuen Mun respectively. They could neither recall having direct contact with rodents or their excreta, nor had noticed rodents in their residence. The 67-year-old patient had travelled to Taiwan and Korea during the incubation period (IP) while the other two patients had no travel history during the IP.

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Officials could not at this point identify the source and the route of infection.


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