ALTHOUGH the clinical and pathologic aspects of the infectious (epidemic) type of viral hepatitis are now relatively well understood, the epidemiology of the disease is still not entirely clear. Studies in this field have been seriously handicapped by the lack of a susceptible laboratory animal. Since it has been necessary to employ volunteers, experimental observations have been limited. It is agreed that the etiological agent of infectious (epidemic) hepatitis is a filtrable virus which can be demonstrated in both the blood and the feces.1 Not only has the disease been experimentally transmitted by the parenteral injection of infected blood or serum and by the oral ingestion of infected feces but epidemics have been described as presumably due to these mechanisms. Thus, accidental parenteral transmission has been reported as occurring in a variety of ways.2 Like-wise, there are several reports of epidemics due to contaminated water,3 milk,4 and food.5
CAPPS RB, BENNETT AM, STOKES J. ENDEMIC INFECTIOUS HEPATITIS IN AN INFANTS' ORPHANAGE: I. Epidemiologic Studies in Student Nurses. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1952;89(1):6–23. doi:10.1001/archinte.1952.00240010016002
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