A British bank worker died from a rare liver infection contracted while she trained call centre staff in India, an inquest heard yesterday.
Lucy Wilson, aged 23, became ill with flu-like symptom three weeks after returning from Mumbai and died from hepatitis E and liver failure days later, Birmingham Coroner's Court heard.
The financial administrator, of Newport, South Wales, had travelled to the subcontinent with the insurance division of Lloyds TSB.
She had visited her GP two days after her return to Wales on November 13 last year with concerns about a slight cut on a toe she suffered standing on a broken bottle during a night out in Mumbai.
Her family initially believed the laceration may have had something to do with her illness but were told by a medical expert at yesterday's hearing that the wound had had nothing to do with it.
Over the following weeks, Miss Wilson developed flu-like symptoms and was eventually admitted to Neville Hall Hospital in Abergavenny on December 4.
She was rushed to the specialist liver unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham within 24 hours where specialists worked to establish the cause of her liver failure.
It was not until after Miss Wilson's death that test results confirmed she had contracted hepatitis E.
Consultant Dr Douglas Thorburn explained to Miss Wilson's family, who were in court, that the infection was spread orally from contaminated sewage.
The expert said: "It's not an infection we see very frequently in this part of the world but it's in the community in parts of the world and in India and South East Asia it's an endemic infection."
Dr Thorburn said there was no vaccine and no treatment for the infection which took between three and eight weeks to develop.
Out of 2,700 liver transplants carried out at the unit, Dr Thornburn said 300 had followed liver failure and there were no cases of hepatitis E. He had also checked unexplained deaths and found no evidence of the infection.
Six other Lloyds TSB staff working in India suffered with symptoms of hepatitis. One of them was admitted to hospital but none of them were taken as ill as Miss Wilson.
Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, the deputy coroner for Birmingham Christopher Ball said some aspects of the case would remain a "mystery".
Mr Ball said: "It's a rare natural cause but Miss Wilson contracted the viral infection while she was abroad in India and we have heard how rare it is in this country but she had by far the best medical treatment available and although the specialists were desperately searching for a cause, the treatment would have been the same whatever the cause.
"We are never going to know exactly how Miss Wilson came to contract the infection, whether it was from dirty water, whether it was ice cubes or cleaning teeth.
"And also what is going remain a mystery is why Miss Wilson was more seriously affected than the other people who came back with evidence of hepatitis E."
During the hearing, Miss Wilson's mother Jayne told the court: "Lucy wasn't a silly girl. She has been abroad before a lot of times. She knew not to drink water, she knew about ice in drinks, she wasn't the type to take a chances so how this has occurred I really don't know."
Following the inquest, her father Julian said they were relieved to finally know the cause of Lucy's death.
The 52-year-old, who was with his daughter Sian, son Ben, and Miss Wilson's fiance Ognian Stoilov, said: "We are relieved that we found out. We didn't know she died from hepatitis E until we found out when we came here today."