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Forms of Hepatitis



Hepatitis: causes

 Several different conditions can affect the liver and lead to liver dysfunction. Sometimes they result from an inflammation of the liver (called hepatitis) caused by different types of viruses, alcohol abuse or an auto-immune response against certain hepatic proteins.

 There are several types of viruses responsible for hepatitis, which are classified into five main groups: hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses. All these viruses cause short term hepatitis (also known as acute hepatitis), but hepatitis B, D and E viruses can also cause a long-term liver inflammation (called chronic hepatitis), sometimes leading to liver failure, scarring (cirrhosis) or cancer. Hepatitis A and E viruses are usually transmitted through water or food contaminated with feces from an infected person, while hepatitis B, C and D are mainly spread through contact with infected blood (e.g. blood transfusions, use of contaminated needles), through sex with an infected person or from an infected mother to her newborn during delivery.

 The symptoms of hepatitis donít vary depending on the cause. Sometimes symptoms donít develop at all, other times they appear and can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, low grade fever and jaundice (a yellowish discoloration of the skin and the white of the eyes).

Acute hepatitis (especially hepatitis A and E) often gets better on its own, while chronic hepatitis usually requires to be treated with interferon or antiviral agents, although these drugs do not work for everyone.

Hepatitis prevention*

 Prevention is always possible and is the primary way to control the spread of hepatitis among people. Hepatitis A and B can be prevented through specific vaccination, but so far no vaccine has been developed for hepatitis C, D and E. However, it is interesting to note that hepatitis D can be effectively prevented through hepatitis B vaccine.

 For people who have not been vaccinated, prevention is directed to reduce the risk of virus exposure. Specific preventive measures vary depending on the type of hepatitis and its modes of spread. Preventive measures against hepatitis A and E include: following good hygiene practices when preparing and eating food, and being careful about drinking tap water and eating uncooked food (especially when travelling abroad to developing countries, where sanitation and hygiene conditions are often poor). While effective preventive measures against hepatitis B, C and D include: avoiding exposure to infected blood, not sharing drug needles with an infected person and using latex condoms with their partner.

 When hepatitis is not caused by viruses, prevention and treatment are different. For example, hepatitis due to alcohol abuse can be obviously prevented by limiting alcohol intake, while treatment involves the use of medications such as hepato-protectors.

 Because international travellers are the most at risk of contracting viral hepatitis (especially hepatitis A and E), they should get an appropriate international health insurance coverage to ensure safe travel.

If you would like to protect yourself or your family from unexpected medical conditions that may appear you can ask us for a free quotation; we will help you to choose the most appropriate International Healthcare plan.

 International Health insurance plans is an global Health Insurance broker. We have built excellent relationship with top International Health insurance providers. We offer free advice to choose your personalized Medical insurance over a wide range of International Health Insurance plans. You may also contact us. Our quotation is totally free.

*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.

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