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COMMENTS REGARDING AUSTRALIA’S FIRST REPORTED CASE OF TRANSMISSION-TRANSFUSED HEPATITIS E INFECTION

Tuesday 18th Apr 2017

Until this incident, Australia has never had a confirmed case of Hepatitis E being transmitted via blood transfusion.

This is due to the low prevalence of Hepatitis E in the Australian population combined with our strict donor eligibility guidelines.

In the wake of this incident, the Blood Service reviewed all available evidence and concluded that the ongoing risk to the blood supply remains very low, and does not warrant the introduction of any further testing of donated blood.

It’s also worth noting that we will continue to monitor any new and emerging evidence regarding Hepatitis E in Australia as part of our horizon scanning program;

In the meantime, Australia continues to have one of the safest blood supplies in the world;

Since this incident occurred in 2014, there have been no further reports of Hepatitis E infections via blood transfusion;

Each year we safely collect and process 1.3 million blood donations from around 490,000 voluntary blood donors.