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July 28, 1989

Pregnancy and Travel: The Risks of Hepatitis and Scuba Diving

Author Affiliations

Greenville (SC) Hospital System

Greenville (SC) Hospital System

JAMA. 1989;262(4):497. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430040067013

To the Editor.—  The recent article concerning the special problems of traveling during pregnancy was a useful summary of information for physicians involved in travel medicine.1I have two comments related to viral hepatitis.First, with respect to hepatitis B, the authors suggest that only pregnant women with risk factors for previous hepatitis B infection should be screened for the carrier state. It is now recommended that all pregnant women be tested for hepatitis B surface antigen early in pregnancy.2Secondly, a potential risk to pregnant women that was not discussed by the authors is that of enterically transmitted non-A, non-B hepatitis. This type of viral hepatitis has been characterized consistently by a 10% to 20% mortality rate in pregnant women, with the highest risk of severe liver infection and death in the third trimester.3 Enterically transmitted non-A, non-B hepatitis occurs in both epidemic and endemic forms