Hepatitis E is caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV) is one of the types of viral hepatitis in which liver dysfunction happens causing liver swelling resulting in chronic infection. This chronic infection leads to liver cirrhosis. Hepatitis E is the only virus in which no hepatocellular carcinoma occurs. Hepatitis E has 4 genotypes in which only 2 (1 and 2) genotypes are found in human infection.
Usually, Hepatitis E infection is treated on its own in 3-6 weeks. But once it’s developed, then it can cause serious problems in humans. Hepatitis E is not the chronic one but it can be fatal in pregnant women and children under the age of 6. The scientist also suggests that Hepatitis E only targets those individuals who are already infected with other types of viral hepatitis.
Hepatitis E virus Structure:
Hepatitis E Virus also possesses a unique structure like other Hepatitis Viruses. Hepatitis E virus structure Have:
- A Non-Enveloped Virus
- Single-stranded RNA virus
- Baltimore classification: IV
- Family: Calcivirus Have brief viremic period like hepatitis A
- No polymerase.
Hepatitis E transmission:
Hepatitis E is transmitted or spread by fecal-oral route. The fecal-oral route is explained as this type of spread is due to contaminated water and contaminated food. Hepatitis E is common in countries where the sewerage and sanitation system is poor. This causes the spread to be an outbreak and can be transmitted to hundreds of patients at a single time. In most countries, hepatitis spread through uncooked food especially uncooked fish that are part of marine water.
This type of spread is sporadic means that only those people are affected who are eating uncooked food. So if we use healthy food and a good sewerage system is established we can avoid Hepatitis E.
Hepatitis E Symptoms:
Symptoms of hepatitis E is similar to the other hepatitis Viruses because all of them cause liver dysfunction, the main symptoms are;
- Vomiting in most cases
- Undefined weight loss
- Dark-colored eyes and urine.
- Dark-colored bowel.
- Severe pain in jaundice.
- Loss of appetite due to the increase in viral load.
These symptoms when leading to the chronic stage have a severe impact on the body. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis E are more common in adults, especially in pregnant women. These symptoms are less common in children. So if any of the symptoms you have observed, tell your doctor accordingly.
Hepatitis E diagnosis:
Hepatitis E is not easy to differentiate from other viral hepatitis. This is because it has almost the same pathogenesis as other viruses and has almost the same symptoms as well. So doctors have a keen interest to listen the symptoms told by the patient having Hepatitis E.
In the laboratory, hepatitis E is diagnosed using the detection of antibodies against HEV or Hepatitis E RNA. Rapid assay of immunochromatographic technique is also available in some laboratories for hepatitis E detection. In blood or stool, Additional tests include reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to identify the hepatitis E virus RNA. This test is especially important in locations where hepatitis E is uncommon and in rare cases of persistent HEV infection. This assay requires sophisticated laboratory facilities. Other than this there is no diagnostic test performed for HEV detection.
Hepatitis E Treatment:
Likewise, hepatitis A, hepatitis E doesn’t need antiviral drugs. It is recommended for the patient with hepatitis E to take care of his/her health. Take complete bed rest, use fluids, and eat plenty of fruit.
- If a person is facing autoimmune hepatitis then doctors advised corticosteroid to use against it as one of the effective drugs against Hepatitis.
- Immune suppressor such as Imuran is also given to the patient.
Other than it is mandatory to have a regular checkup from a doctor and also you should have a diagnostic test twice in 6 months to check the viral load.
Hepatitis E prevention:
There is no Hepatitis E vaccine available against HEV. The only prevention is your self prevention and is recommended by WHO and NIH.
- Use fresh fruits and juices regularly
- Use boiled water for drinking.
- Avoid raw food and barely cooked food
- Avoid the use of drugs without a prescription from a doctor.
- Maintaining hygiene procedures
- Avoiding the ingestion of tainted water and ice.
- Establishing adequate human feces disposal systems.
How is hepatitis E transmitted?
Hepatitis E is caused by a non-enveloped Single-stranded RNA virus called Hepatitis E Virus. Likewise Hepatitis A hepatitis, hepatitis E is also spread or transmitted through the fecal-oral route. Contaminated water is the only reservoir for hepatitis E.
Is Hepatitis E contagious?
Hepatitis is spread through the fecal-oral route. . Fecal oral route is explained as this type of spread is due to contaminated water and contaminated food. So if we use healthy food and a good sewerage system is established we can avoid Hepatitis E.
How to distinguish hepatitis A and E?
There are almost all similarities in Hepatitis A and E such as their transmission and symptoms yet the major difference is how you diagnose both of them. Hepatitis A is detected directly by the presence of the Hepatitis A virus in blood while hepatitis is detected by the hepatitis E antibodies.
Is there any hepatitis E vaccine?
There is no Hepatitis E vaccine available against HEV. You can only prevent hepatitis E by not drinking contaminated water and do not eat raw or uncooked food. Follow the prevention given by experts to save yourself from any type of viral hepatitis.
Conclusion and Doctors Recommendation
Hepatitis E is caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV) is one of the types of viral hepatitis in which liver dysfunction happens causing liver swelling resulting in chronic infection. This chronic infection leads to liver cirrhosis. Hepatitis E is the only virus in which no hepatocellular carcinoma occurs. An estimated hepatitis E caused approximately 44000 deaths in 2015 covered by WHO.
This disease is referred to as waterborne disease and WHO is working to combine with other control departments to help the people against this virus spread by introducing a vaccine against it. Also, WHO and other concerned health departments especially in the Far East and Asian countries are raising awareness against the elimination of viral hepatitis. The Centre for disease control and prevention (CDC) is working on several projects against viral hepatitis spread and awareness programs. You can visit links and find out what actually the world is progressing against viral hepatitis.