What is hepatitis E ? Causes of Hepatitis E


We have recently discussed about various types of Hepatitis , causes and symptoms of each type hepatitis and how to prevent the viruses causing this chronic disease. In today’s article we will discuss about the Hepatitis E  i.e what actually Hepatitis E is and how it is spread . We will provide the list of various causes of hepatitis E that everyone of us should aware of .

What is Hepatitis E ?

Hepatitis E is a virus that can infect the liver but unlike other forms of hepatitis, the virus of hepatitis E doesn’t lead to long-term illness .There is nothing like serious damage to the liver and if proper treatment is given people get well within a few months.

hepatitis e

In simple language Hepatitis E is a liver disease caused by infection with a virus known as hepatitis E virus (HEV).

It is estimated that annually around 20 million HEV infections are detected worldwide and about 56,600 hepatitis E-related deaths take place . Although HEV is found worldwide but East and South Asia are the areas where there are high chances of getting this infection due to sanitary conditions .

HEV is a small virus, with a positive-sense, single-stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA) genome. This virus has at least 4 different types: genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4. Genotypes 1 and 2  have been found only in humans while the other two circulate in several animals . The common animals that carry it include deer ,  pigs and  wild boars .

Causes of Hepatiti E

Here is the list of ways by which Hepatitis E gets spread. It is very uncommon that we are getting the infection directly from other person .Till now , there is no such evidence that this virus  get transmitted by sex or any type of blood transfusion.One must know the transmission method of this virus so that we can avoid the infection .The risk factors for  transmission include poor sanitation as it allows virus excreted in the faeces of infected people to reach drinking water supplies.

List for Causes of Hepatitis E is given below :

  • If one drinks water or eat food that has  been contaminated by feces (stool) from the infected person , he also get infected with Hepatitis E .
  • One can also get this disease from contact with an animal such as touching infected pig .
  • Eating under cooked meat  is another cause of getting infection .
  • Vertical transmission from a pregnant woman to her fetus.

Very few know that researches are taking place on how to prevent this virus and a vaccine to prevent it has been developed and is licensed in China, but is not yet available elsewhere

It is very common in developing or resource-limited countries because there is limited access to essential water, sanitation, hygiene and other  health services. In developed countries and areas with better sanitatary conditions, this  disease is infrequent