Posted on Monday, May 20, 2019

Before your transfer Overseas, become aware of the risks of viral hepatitis.

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by a virus, but it is also sometimes due to alcoholism, drug poisoning or even a chemical.

For hepatitis A and B, vaccination is the best means of protection.

For other hepatitis C, D and E, only screening will indicate whether you are a carrier of the virus.

Clinical signs

Acute hepatitis has a talking clinic, it’s jaundice with fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, jaundice, and dark urine. But this stage is not systematic and can go unnoticed.

Modes of transmission

Hepatitis A and E

They are caused by ingestion of contaminated water or food (faecal-oral transmission). They do not cause chronic disease and are rarely fatal except in the case of “fulminant” hepatitis.

Hepatitis B, C and D

Hepatitis B

Three million people have been in contact with the virus, 300,000 individuals have chronic hepatitis B and 1,000 deaths are attributable to it each year in France. The acute phase is often asymptomatic and goes into the chronic phase once in 10 times, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis C

Each year 4,000 new cases are diagnosed, 400,000 people are carriers of hepatitis C. The dangerous nature comes from the fact that the evolution of this hepatitis is silent and that 8 cases out of 10 develop in chronic form, not very symptomatic.

Hepatitis D

It is always associated with hepatitis B. Getting vaccinated against hepatitis B protects against the harms of making up with hepatitis D.

For these three hepatitis, the modes of transmission are:

  • blood transfusions or invasive medical procedures with contaminated material in France before 1992 and currently in certain countries
  • unprotected sex
  • tattoos and piercing with soiled material
  • intravenous drug addiction with soiled equipment
  • transmission from infected mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding

In a small number of cases of hepatitis B and C, the infectious contact is not found.

Before leaving

Before going abroad (stay or overseas mission), it is essential to check your vaccination coverage and that of your family, vis-à-vis viral hepatitis, some countries constituting high endemic areas.

Elementary hygiene rules must be taken to avoid contamination by hepatitis A and E viruses (washing hands and food, controlling drinks, etc.). And responsible behavior (condom for each risky relationship, be vigilant about the rules of hygiene when tattooing …) to avoid contamination by hepatitis B and C viruses.

Finally, you must get tested if you think you have been at risk of infection with a hepatic virus. Screening for hepatitis C, for example, enables effective treatment and increasingly frequent cure.

Talk to your doctor.