Hepatitis E is a serious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis E virus (HEV) that usually results in an acute infection. It does not lead to a chronic infection.
While rare in the United States, Hepatitis E is common in many parts of the world.
Transmission: Ingestion of fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts. Outbreaks are usually associated with contaminated water supply in countries with poor sanitation.
Vaccination: There is currently no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccine for Hepatitis E.
Four Things You Should Know About Hepatitis
- Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are all different diseases. Each type of hepatitis is caused by a different virus and spread in different ways. Hepatitis A does not cause a long-term infection, although it can make people very sick. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections and lead to serious health problems.
- Chronic hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis can cause serious damage to the liver, including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.
- Most people with chronic hepatitis do not know they are infected. More than 4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis in the United States, but most do not know they are infected. Many people live with chronic hepatitis for decades without symptoms or feeling sick.
- Getting tested could save your life. Lifesaving care and treatments are available for chronic hepatitis, but getting tested is the only way to know if you are infected.
For more information regarding hepatitis, visit the following websites:
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Hepatitis fact sheets from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- Hepatitis A Disease Fact Sheet, P-42054
- Hepatitis B Disease Fact Sheet, P-42055
- Hepatitis C Disease Fact Sheet, P-42056
Information for Providers
Report to the patient's local public health department electronically, through the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS), by mail or fax using an Acute and Communicable Disease case report, F-44151 (Word) or by other means within 72 hours upon recognition of a case.
Information on communicable disease reporting
- Case Reporting and Investigation Protocol (EpiNet): P-01916 Hepatitis E (PDF)
- Hepatitis E information for health professionals – CDC
Thomas Haupt, Influenza Coordinator
Division of Public Health
Bureau of Communicable Diseases