Hepatitis E: Overview

Hepatitis E is an illness of the liver caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). HEV is found in an infected person's feces. It spreads when someone unintentionally ingests the virus, even in small concentrations. People in underdeveloped nations are more likely to get hepatitis E infection via drinking contaminated water.

People in developed nations where hepatitis E is uncommon have mostly been ill after eating raw or undercooked pig, venison, wild boar meat, or shellfish. Previously, many cases in developed nations included persons who had recently visited places where hepatitis E was prevalent.

Many persons with hepatitis E, particularly small children, show no symptoms.


Symptoms

A person who has hepatitis E may or may not have symptoms in the initial phase. One can get symptoms anywhere between 2 and 6 days after getting the infection. They might include:


When to see a doctor?

If you notice the above symptoms, immediately consult a doctor about your symptoms.


Hepatitis E causes

The majority of hepatitis E infections are caused by contaminated drinking water. Living in or visiting nations with poor sanitation might put you in danger. This is especially common in densely populated places.

Hepatitis E spreads easily by the consumption of contaminated animal products. It can also spread through blood transfusions. A pregnant mother who is infected with the virus might pass it on to her baby.

Most infections resolve on their own after a few weeks. The virus might also cause liver failure in some situations.


Prevention

There is no vaccination available to protect against the hepatitis E virus. It is especially widespread in less-developed nations. One may reduce the risks of contracting the virus by doing the following:

  • Don't consume or use ice that you aren't sure is made from clean water.
  • Don't consume raw or undercooked pork, deer meat, or shellfish.
  • After using the washroom, changing a diaper, or cleaning washrooms, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Maintain hygiene while preparing or eating food, and clean your hands properly.

Complications

Complications are possible, although they are uncommon. This is especially valid for vulnerable populations.

Complications include acquiring a long-lasting variant of the infection, neurological abnormalities, and possibly severe liver damage or liver failure.

Pregnant women are a particularly vulnerable category. Hepatitis E can harm both the parent and their unborn child. According to the World Health Organization, the virus can affect up to 20% of pregnant women in their third trimester.

Hepatitis E may be more harmful in those who have a history of liver illness or who have chronic liver disease. People who have a liver transplant and use immunosuppressive medications may be at a higher risk.


Diagnosis

Hepatitis E infection diagnosis depends on detecting specific anti-HEV immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies to the virus in an individual’s blood.

If a person tests negative for various forms of hepatitis but possesses antibodies that fight hepatitis E, doctors may conclude that they have the virus.


Treatment

Hepatitis E usually does not require medical treatment, it is mostly self-limiting and treatment is mostly supportive.

Doctors may, however, prescribe certain tips to help the body recover from the illness. Following are the tips:

Doctors may examine drugs to determine whether they might be reduced or eliminated as a person recovers from an infection. Many supplements and vitamins work the same way.

It is also crucial for patients to see their doctor periodically as the body recovers. The doctor may monitor for any physical changes or follow treatment progression, using blood tests to evaluate if the body can handle the illness.

In rare circumstances, doctors may prescribe hepatitis E medicines. This might be more likely for those who have a severe infection.

In rare situations, a person may need to be hospitalized. In such instances, a hepatitis E infection may arise in persons from at-risk populations.


Do's And Don'ts

Following the Do’s and Don'ts will prevent the disease.

Do’s Don’ts
Drink purified water only. Eat raw meats, pork, or any animal products.
Wash hands properly after using the washroom. Eat unwashed fruits or vegetables.
Properly clean the toilets and bathrooms after an infected person has used it. Eat half-cooked food
Boil the drinking water to purify it. Use water from any source even for brushing or face washing.

If you follow the above mentioned tips, it will be easy for you to stay away from hepatitis E infection and decrease its future complications.


Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and medical experts who are experienced in providing excellent healthcare services to patients with compassion and care. Our diagnostic department is equipped with modern technology and equipment to conduct the tests required for the diagnosis. We have an excellent team of top doctors who diagnose and treat this condition.


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