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Hepatitis E

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Definition

noun

An acute form of hepatitis that is caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV), which is transmitted by the fecal-oral route


Supplement

The inflammation of the liver is called hepatitis. There are many causes of hepatitis and one of them is viral infection. There are five major viruses that are of medical concern: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E.

Hepatitis E is a viral hepatitis caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV), a hepevirus. Similar to hepatitis A, the mode of transmission of hepatitis E is by ingestion of food and water contaminated with the virus. The virus makes use of animal reservoir such as pigs, lesser bandicoot rat (Bandicota bengalensis), black rat (Rattus rattus brunneusculus) and Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus).

The symptoms are mild and similar to those infected with hepatitis A virus. Nevertheless, in pregnant women, the symptoms are acute, intense, and severe to the point of lethality. They may also acquire the so called fulminant liver failure (i.e. severe and acute liver damage). Immunocompromised patients also are at risk to developing chronic hepatitis.


Abbreviation / Acronym:

  • HE
  • hep E

Variant(s):

  • virus E hepatitis
  • viral hepatitis type E

See also: