University of Hong Kong researchers said a 56-year-old man developed the disease a few months after undergoing a liver transplant in May 2017. Rat hepatitis E is the rat version of the disease, which causes an inflammation of the liver.
Genetic sequencing revealed similarities with the rat form of the disease, and the man was given antiretroviral treatment. Researchers are not sure how the man developed the disease, but said it is unlikely he received it from another human. They said he lives in a housing estate where there is evidence of a rat infestation, and the rodents may have infected his food supply.