The first estimate of the global effect of infection with the hepatitis E virus (HEV) reveals that as many as 20.1 million people were infected with HEV genotypes 1 and 2 in 2005 in 9 regions in Asia and Africa defined for the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study, report researchers from the World Health Organization and the United States (Rein DB et al. Hepatology. 2012;55:988-997).
The investigators found 3.4 million symptomatic cases, 70 000 deaths, and 3000 stillbirths. Peak levels of incident infections occurred in individuals aged 15 to 19 years and fell thereafter. The death rate was higher among symptomatic women who were pregnant than among symptomatic women who weren't pregnant.
Friedrich MJ. Global Burden of Hepatitis E Virus. JAMA. 2012;307(19):2017. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.5081