About Hepatitis E
Hepatitis E is a common infection that affects the liver and causes it to swell up. It is not a serious condition and barely causes any long-term damage to the liver as compared to other Hepatitis infections.
Hepatitis E, however, can particularly affect pregnant women, the elderly or those with a compromised immune system.
Hepatitis E symptoms
The signs and symptoms of Hepatitis E vary from one person to another. Usually, the symptoms begin to show between 2-6 weeks of being infected. Common hepatitis E symptoms include:
- Mild or low-grade fever
- Excessive fatigue or tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach
- Pain in the abdomen
- Dark coloured urine
- Light-colored stool
- Skin rashes or itching
- Joint pain
Hepatitis E causes
Hepatitis E is caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV) which is mostly found in human stool. It is transmitted when a person eats or drinks something that has been in contact with or around the stool of another person who is infected.
Hepatitis E causes are associated with poor hygiene, that is, poor handwashing habits and a lack of sanitation. Additionally, this infection can be caused by consuming undercooked meat or raw shellfish.
Diagnosis of Hepatitis E
Your healthcare provider will want to discuss your medical history to draw a precise diagnosis. He/she will properly discuss your symptoms and travel history or whether or not you have come in contact with contaminated food or water.
Your doctor will order a range of tests to diagnose Hepatitis E. These tests include blood sampling and stool tests.
Hepatitis E treatment
Usually, hepatitis E goes away on its own within a few weeks (4-6 weeks). The first line of treatment is to offer relief from symptoms. Your doctor will ask you to rest, eat healthy foods, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid unhealthy behaviour.
He/she will then offer certain medication to treat the infection.