Hepatitis E is a viral infection that affects the liver. Infection usually occurs after consuming contaminated water or food. Most cases of hepatitis E in Australians are acquired in developing countries where sanitation is poor. Pigs are known to be infected with hepatitis E virus, and recently, people in Australia have been known to develop hepatitis E after eating undercooked pork liver. Hepatitis E can be prevented. 

When travelling in developing countries, only drink commercially bottled or boiled water, and eat food that has been freshly cooked and still hot, and wash, cook or peel fruit and vegetables yourself. Street food should be avoided. Take care when swimming as untreated water may expose you to a number of infections. 

In Australia and overseas, making sure that pork products (in particular liver) are thoroughly cooked prior to eating.

Further information

For further information please see the fact sheet or contact your local public health unit on 1300 066 055.​​​​

Page Updated: Monday 13 March 2017