Brits could be infected with HEPATITIS after eating pork from EU pigs | UK | News

The virus, which can liver cirrhosis and neurological damage, is carried by pigs in Europe, mainly in Germany and the Netherlands.

Worrying new research claims imported pork infects between 150,000 and 200,000 British people a year with the virus.

UK pigs do not carry the strain, which is officially called HEV G3-2.

A group of British scientists tracked the shopping habits of 60 infected people as part of the research.

Public Health England (PHE) said they had all bought own-brand sausages or pre-packed sliced ham from the same UK supermarket chain.

But both PHE and the Food Standards Agency have refused to name the shop in question, instead identifying it only as “Supermarket X”.

The report said: “The implicated products are pork sausages, which require cooking prior to consumption, and ready-to-eat pre-packed sliced ham.

After looking at different brands of sausage the authors concluded that: “Only Supermarket X, especially own brand, was significantly associated with HEV G3-2.”

Blood and transplants services have started screening all blood donations following the alarming findings.

Roy Van Den Heuvel, from Falmouth, Cornwall, said he suffered a paralysed diaphragm after picking up the virus from infected Dutch salami. 

He told the Sunday Times: “I had to go into intensive care and I still have not recovered.”

Harry Dalton, a gastroenterologist at the University of Exeter, added: “In the past four years the number of HEV cases I see has surged. 

“Three of my patients have died from HEV, all were older men with pre-existing liver damage.”

The research began in 2014 and was completed early last year.

However, it was only recently published due to the “sensitivity” of the findings.

A spokesman for PHE defended not naming the supermarket, saying: “The association with the supermarket does not infer any blame.”