Hepatitis E virus (HEV) genotypes 1 and 2 are responsible for the majority of acute viral hepatitis infections in endemic areas in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to frequent sporadic illnesses throughout the year, these viruses often cause large epidemics in association with monsoon rains in Asia or during humanitarian crises in Africa. Clinical hepatitis commonly involves adults more often than young children, with an overall mortality of ∼1%. However, the mortality among pregnant women is often 30% or higher. HEV infection in pregnant women frequently leads to infant mortality or premature delivery. Hepatitis E is an important, yet largely neglected, global public health problem.