Men and zoonoses

Men are at much higher risk of the lesser known hepatitis E virus than women according to Public Health England. Its latest report on infections that may be linked to animals describes 206 cases of hepatitis E in the fourth quarter of 2017 of which 131 cases (64%) were male (aged 13–88 years, median 53) and 75 (46%) were female (aged 10–90 years, median 58). The majority of cases had no apparent travel history.

Hepatitis E is transmitted by the faeco-oral route from contaminated water and also from undercooked meat. Symptoms are similar to other hepatitis infections and the infection is identified through blood testing.

The report also highlights an increasing number of leptospirosis infections, again with infections in men significantly outstripping women. Of 32 cases reported, 28 were male (aged 12–82 years, median 50 years) and four were female (aged 42–69, median 51 years).

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