Hepatitis is a disease characterized by the liver being inflamed or swollen. It can cause permanent damage to a person’s liver tissue. Common types of hepatitis are A, B and hepatitis C. Both B and C can lead to permanent liver damage and even death. Viral hepatitis can be food-borne (spread through contaminated food or water), which does not lead to chronic liver problems, or blood-borne which can eventually lead to lethal consequences. Once diagnosed as having Hepatitis C, an individual will be infected for life. They will also be contagious for their lifetime and will have the ability to transmit this disease to others.
There are certain things a person can use to determine if they are at risk for Hepatitis C. If they have had a blood transfusion, used intravenous drugs, or have had a tattoo or body piercing they could be at risk. Anyone who is exposed to blood of an infected person, such as emergency workers, professionals in healthcare, and military personnel, is at risk of being infected themselves. Mother’s, if infected, can pass hepatitis to their child during birth, and it can also be transmitted through unprotected sex. People should take all precautions to protect themselves.
When looking for health insurance, a lot of companies require a person to go through a screening process to prove they are healthy enough for coverage. Once a person goes through the screening process it is up to the insurance company whether or not they will sell the individual the insurance plan. If a person has been diagnosed with Hepatitis C before hand, it is not likely they will qualify for coverage. It would be wise to look for an insurance company that does not require the screening process before coverage begins. If a person develops Hepatitis and already have health insurance they should talk to their provider to find out how more.
There are certain individuals that pose a higher risk to get Hepatitis C than others, but anyone can get it. There are many things you can do to protect yourself. If a person uses intravenous drugs they should never share needles. Shy away from unprotected sex. Never borrow another person’s toothbrush, razor, or any item that could contain blood. When getting tattoos and piercings make sure the tools are sterile. If a person happens to be infected, they should never donate blood in order to protect others.
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