Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is a liver disease caused by infection with a virus known as hepatitis E virus (HEV). Every year, there are an estimated 20 million HEV infections worldwide, leading to an estimated 3.3 million symptomatic cases of hepatitis E1, and 56 600 hepatitis E-related deaths2. Hepatitis E is usually self-limiting but some cases may develop into fulminant hepatitis (acute liver failure). The virus is transmitted via the faecal-oral route, principally via contaminated water. Hepatitis E is found worldwide, but the prevalence is highest in East and South Asia. A vaccine to prevent hepatitis E virus infection has been developed and is licensed in China, but is not yet available elsewhere.

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