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Case of severe acute hepatitis A virus infection in United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan


Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a major cause of acute viral hepatitis, which can lead to severe cases and acute liver failure. A 41-year-old Chinese military officer of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in South Sudan manifested fever, jaundice and coagulation dysfunction. The patient initially had a negative anti-HAV IgM antibody test result but a positive anti-HAV-IgM antibody test result five days after his alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels peaked. He was given telemedicine consultation and was transferred to a Chinese military hospital specialising in infectious diseases for treatment of severe acute HAV infection. The peak ALT, aspartate aminotransferase, total bilirubin and international standard ratio were 5410 U/L, 3475 U/L, 225.1 µmol/L and 2.12 during hospitalisation, respectively. Military personnel undergoing missions in areas with high prevalence of HAV should be tested for previous HAV infection before departure if they have not been previously vaccinated. If negative results are obtained, they should be vaccinated. Anti-HAV-IgM examination should be repeated after the first negative test result is obtained to eliminate the effects of a window period if a clinical suspicion exists. If a life-threatening case of HAV infection is present, the patient should be transported to a base military hospital specialising in infectious diseases for treatment.

  • hepatitis A nirus
  • severe hepatitis
  • military personnel

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