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Hepatitis E is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and damage. The Hepatitis E virus has different types that spread in different ways.


  • Some types are spread by drinking contaminated water. These types are more common in developing countries, including parts of Africa, Asia, Central America, and the Middle East.

  • Other types are spread by eating undercooked pork or wild game, such as deer. These types are more common in developed countries, such as the United States, Australia, Japan, and parts of Europe and East Asia.


Hepatitis E typically causes acute or short-term infection.

The signs and symptoms of hepatitis E are similar to those of other types of acute viral hepatitis and liver injury. They include:

  • Fever

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal pain

  • Jaundice

  • Dark urine

  • Clay-colored stool

  • Joint pain

Prevention of Hepatitis E relies primarily on good sanitation and the availability of clean drinking water. Travelers to developing countries can reduce the risk for infection by not drinking unpurified water. Boiling and chlorination of water and avoiding raw pork and venison can reduce the risk of contracting Hepatitis E.

No FDA-approved vaccine for hepatitis E is currently available in the United States; however, in 2012, a recombinant vaccine was approved for use in China.

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