Hepatitis E is a viral hepatitis that affects the liver and is caused by the hepatitis E virus, or HEV. The liver is an organ found on the right side of our belly (abdomen) under the rib cage. It cleans our blood of toxins, poisons, and bacteria. It produces bile which helps our body breakdown food. It stores vitamins, minerals and sugars. And it helps control cholesterol levels. Hepatitis E occurs when the hepatitis E virus causes the liver to swell, scar, and become inflamed, which stops it from working properly or completely Symptoms may include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin). Hepatitis E symptoms usually go away after 4-6 weeks. It is rare for HEV to become chronic, but it can be very serious for pregnant women. HEV is spread through food or water that is contaminated with the feces (bowel movement) of people infected with HEV. There is some concern that it may also be passed through pigs in areas where HEV is common. There is no evidence that HEV is passed through sexual intercourse. It is very rarely passed from person to person. HEV is rare in developed nations. However, people who travel to the developing countries where HEV is common may be at risk. Outbreaks of hepatitis E have been reported in Central and South-East Asia, North and West Africa, and in Mexico, especially where fecal contamination of drinking water occurs. Physicians can diagnose hepatitis E through blood tests and stool tests that detect the presence of HEV. Physicians and hospitals can provide supportive care for individuals affected by HEV until they recover if needed. If HEV does become chronic, medications are available to help treat the condition. Talk with your doctor if you or a family member has been diagnosed with hepatitis to decide on the best treatment plan. Support groups are also good resources of support and information.