It is spread via the Fecal-oral route, typically by contamination of water supplies.
It consists of a single strand of non-enveloped RNA, about 33 nanometers in length. It is currently classified as a Caliciviridae. However, genomically, it more closely resembles the rubella virus and may in the future be reclassified.
Clinically, hepatitis E is comparable to hepatitis A, but in pregnant women the course can be fulminant.