What is Hepatitis E?

Much like Hep A, Hepatitis E is often transmitted through food or water contaminated with fecal matter and is far more common in underdeveloped countries. This results in a virus that inflames the liver, causing fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, and jaundice.

Most symptoms will begin within a few weeks after exposure and can last up to 6 weeks. For most people, the symptoms will eventually subside as the immune system fights off the virus. Unfortunately, the side effects of this virus can be most severe for pregnant women. Nearly one in four pregnant women who contract hep E in the third trimester die from the virus.

Medications are given to alleviate the symptoms of Hep E, such as the antiretroviral drug ribavirin. However, the best method to fight Hep E is prevention by maintaining good hygiene and avoiding water or food that could be contaminated.

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