Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E: A form of liver disease characterized by inflammation of the liver due to infection with the hepatitis E virus (HEV). Usually a mild disease, hepatitis E but can in rare cases prove fatal, particularly in pregnant women.

HEV is transmitted via food or drink that has been handled by an infected person, or through infected water supplies in areas where fecal matter may get into the water. Consumption of uncooked deer meat is important risk factor for infection with HEV in Japan. Hepatitis E is rare in the US and Canada. It is more common in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

The finding of anti-HEV antibodies in blood is evidence for prior infection with HEV. There is currently no vaccine or treatment for hepatitis E, although anti-viral drugs may be tried.