Five people who received transplanted organs from the same donor have been infected with hepatitis E, a Hong Kong hospital revealed on Monday, in what was thought to be the first case of its kind in the city.
A Queen Mary Hospital spokeswoman said staff had received a report from the University of Hong Kong’s department of microbiology on Monday saying several patients who received organs in February had all been infected with the potentially deadly virus.
“The suspected infection channel was donated organs,” the spokeswoman said.
The hospital told the Hospital Authority and the Centre for Health Protection about the case and has been in contact with the affected patients to provide assistance and treatment.
It was confirmed today that the donor is a 29-year-old young woman who died at Princess Margaret Hospital on February 27 and her family donated her organs on February 28.
According to a hospital source, she donated at least five organs including her heart, liver, lungs and both kidneys. There were five infected recipients.
One patient, who received the woman’s lungs, had already died, according to reports. It was unclear whether the death was related to the infection.
According to medical experts, it was the first case of hepatitis E transmission through organ donation in Hong Kong.
Dr Luk Che-chung, chief executive of Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam, said organs were not ordinarily tested for hepatitis E because the virus was rare.
Hepatitis E is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis E virus, mainly transmitted by faecal contamination of drinking water. Bad cases can result in liver failure and death.
The hospital said it would give more information on the case on Tuesday.
This article Five infected with hepatitis E after receiving organs from same Hong Kong woman first appeared on South China Morning Post