This journal article first appeared in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases on 18 July 2019.
The hepatitis E virus is a major cause of acute jaundice cases worldwide, with a high risk of death – as much as 30 per cent – for pregnant women.
While genotypes related to disease transmission through blood and food have received attention in high-income countries, genotypes which cause outbreaks among the world’s vulnerable populations, where access to safe water and sanitation is poor, have received little attention.
For these genotypes – types 1 and 2 – there are no drugs or medicines known to reduce illness and death from hepatitis E.
Classification of hepatitis E as a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization would bring additional, much-needed, attention and resources to address and increase awareness of the disease in the health community.