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Hepatitis E Virus

What is Hepatitis E?

Hepatitis E causes inflammation of the liver.  It is rare in the United States and there are no long-term chronic effects.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis E Virus?

The symptoms of Hepatitis E include fatigue, poor appetite, fever, vomiting and occasionally joint pain, hives or rash.  Urine may become darker in color, and then jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) may appear.  Some individuals may experience few or no symptoms.  Symptoms usually appear two to nine weeks after exposure, but usually within forty days.

Who is at risk for Hepatitis E Virus?

The most at risk for Hepatitis E infection are people who travel to or spend time in developing countries.

How is Hepatitis E spread?

Hepatitis E is transmitted through fecal-oral route.  This means that you get the infection by eating or drinking something that has been contaminated with feces.  Outbreaks have been associated with contaminated water supplies in other countries.

Is there a vaccine available for Hepatitis E?

At the present time there is no vaccine available for Hepatitis E.

How can Hepatitis E be prevented?

The best way to prevent Hepatitis E is to avoid drinking or using potentially contaminated water.

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