Ongoing Problems with Hepatitis E

Learn the Nature of Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E
Hepatitis E Definition. A.D.A.M.

Hepatitis E is a communicable disease that’s usually self-limiting. Hepatitis E can spread through water contaminated with fecal matter, especially in endemic areas. The outbreaks of hepatitis E can be at the individual level or at epidemic proportions. This kind of hepatitis shares some similar viral characteristics with hepatitis A. Hepatitis E has also been connected with chronic hepatitis in organ transplant receivers, patients with HIV and individuals who are using rituximab medication for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

As a matter of fact, studies demonstrate that corrective treatment such as hemodialysis are also prone to developing this disease, but there’s no evidence that the procedure can cause a chronic infection directly.

The hepatitis E “bug” has two stages: the prodromal and icteric phases. The fatality rate of this infection is relatively low, but the recipients of liver transplantation, as well as pregnant women, are at elevated risk. The archetypical therapy for hepatitis E is prevention, paradigm personal hygiene, favorable sanitation and clean, potable water. The recombinant HEV vaccine has also been bred to prevent the acquisition of HEV.

Hepatitis E Statistics

Hepatitis E is one of the most common communicable diseases universally, but it’s rampant in regions with tropical climates, sub-par hygiene, and inadequate sanitation systems. This condition is very common in developing nations flanking the equator.

Spates of hepatitis E are also associated with overcrowding, rainy seasons and floods.

The contamination of water from the feces of people who were infected with hepatitis E is one of the most common ways for this epidemic to spread in a certain community. The largest number of people who were affected with this condition was in China in 1986, wherein thousands of individuals were affected.

Additionally, it is believed that hepatitis E can be transferred from animals to humans. Usually, a waterborne epidemic of this virus primarily affects people aged 15 to 35 years old. Men are blighted with hepatitis E more often than women.

Prevention of Hepatitis E

Management of hepatitis E is focal to public health and prevention is a must for ducking complications. To prevent it, clean potable water, proper sanitation, and appropriate personal hygiene should be practiced. There are also several other tips for prevention: travelers to areas that are endemic or have a history of hepatitis E eruptions should keep away from unboiled water, uncooked shellfish; and pork. The goal is to inactivate the virus, and care must also be observed when formulating uncooked foods such as vegetables and fruits.

Hepatitis E can be barred by vaccination. In actuality, research in China and Nepal has revealed that it is extremely effective in fighting the virus from spreading. This will not only avert the genotype 1 HEV but also genotype 2 HEV. Vaccination is indispensable especially in areas prone to the dissemination of hepatitis E.

Treatment for Acute Hepatitis E

In the case of acute (short-term) hepatitis E, the patient only needs management for symptoms, as most conventional methods can get rid of the virus effortlessly.

A hepatitis E sufferer treated by using medications such as ribavirin for three weeks has a significant improvement in their liver enzymes as well as functions. Even though this therapy isn’t applicable for pregnant moms, treatment with this medication is somewhat significant, especially the fact that the mom and the baby’s life are at risk if untreated.

Chronic Hepatitis E Hurdles

Patients writhing from chronic hepatitis E, especially those who’ve undergone or need liver transplants, may require viral clearance. One stride to cure chronic hepatitis E would be to simply boost the immunosuppressive therapy safely.

Even if there are already vaccines available for hepatitis E, sadly, there are still societies that don’t cater enough awareness about hepatitis E. As a result, hepatitis E viruses are still scattering. That’s why health agencies in any country should be very diligent when it comes to replicating the knowledge about hepatitis. Proper hygiene, spotless drinking water and respectable sanitation are the top three important considerations that should be remembered, as they are ways to ensure that you are free of hepatitis E.  If the community is cognizant about how to avoid hepatitis E, it could, someday, be stamped out.


Aggarwal R, Jameel S. Hepatitis E. Hepatology. 2011 Dec;54(6):2218-26.

Nelson KE, Kmush B, Labrique AB.The epidemiology of hepatitis E virus infections in developed countries and among immunocompromised patients. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2011 Dec;9(12):1133-48.

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