Causes of hepatitis E
Learn about the causes of hepatitis E, how it is spread and where it is found.
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What causes hepatitis E?
Hepatitis E is caused by the hepatitis E virus. It is a liver disease.
How is hepatitis E spread?
Hepatitis E is spread from person to person through contact with infected feces.
You can get hepatitis E when you eat or drink something contaminated with infected feces. Once you are infected, your feces will contain the virus.
Common food sources of hepatitis E include:
- contaminated water or ice
- raw or undercooked shellfish harvested from contaminated water
- food or beverages prepared:
- in unsanitary conditions
- by an infected person who did not wash their hands properly after using the bathroom
- undercooked meat from infected animals, such as:
- wild boar
Hepatitis E can also spread if you do not properly wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing a diaper.
Very rarely, it can spread:
- from a pregnant woman to her child during pregnancy
- through a blood transfusion
You can spread the disease within 30 days of being infected. If you have a weakened immune system, you are contagious for a longer time period.
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