Ludwig Lettau, MD, MPH, the author of the article "Alphabet Now Complete: NIH Discovers Hepatitis Z Virus,"  explained to Relaxnews on August 25 that everything he wrote about Hepatitis Z (HZV) was all "a joke" and originally "published over 15 years ago."

Therefore Hepatitis Z does not exist, and on July 30, there were not any cases of such a virus discovered in California amongst cult members preferring to eat raw liver (per the journal Annals of Internal Medicine), as reported in the August 25 Relaxnews story "Health in the future: Hepatitis E to Z."
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines hepatitis as "an inflammation of the liver most commonly caused by a viral infection," with symptoms that include "jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain." The WHO notes that there are five main types of hepatitis: A, B, C, D and E.
However Hepatitis E (HEV) is no joke and the HEV vaccine (HEV 239) is well underway with promising results showing it is 100 percent effective.

On August 23, Professor Ningshao Xia, MD, the director of the National Institute of Diagnosis and Vaccine Development in infectious diseases at ?Xiamen University in China told Relaxnews, the "license application of this vaccine is now being evaluated by Chinese SFDA [State Food and Drug Administration].

"How long the evaluation will take is uncertain, maybe several months or more than one year. After that the vaccine can be available for use by travelers and in outbreak areas in China," continued Xia.

"The phase 3 clinical trial of the vaccine was funded by scientific grants from Chinese central and local government, and the development of the vaccine was funded by a vaccine company, Xiamen Innovax Biotech," explained Xia.

To ward off HEV before HEV 239 is available it is best to stay clear of contaminated food and water especially in areas where HEV outbreaks are prevalent including Central and South-East Asia, North and West Africa, and in Mexico according to the WHO.

For more information on "Hepatitis A through E and Beyond", go to:

Full study, "Efficacy and safety of a recombinant hepatitis E vaccine in healthy adults: a large-scale, randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial":