Information about fulminant viral hepatitis symptoms and treatments available as explained by Red Cover Life Planning to treat inflammation of the liver in the body.

Fulminant Viral Hepatitis

What Is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.  The liver is a vital organ that processes nutrients, filters the blood, and fights infections.  When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected.  It may be caused by drugs, alcohol use, toxins, or certain medical conditions.  But in most cases, it’s caused by a virus.  This is known as viral hepatitis, and the most common forms are hepatitis A, B, and C.

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What Is Fulminant Viral Hepatitis?

Fulminant viral hepatitis is a fast and severe impairment of liver functions or acute liver failure with hepatic encephalopathy developing that develops less than eight weeks after the onset of jaundice, secondary to viral hepatitis.

Hepatitis A is always an acute, short-term disease, while hepatitis B, C, and D are most likely to become ongoing and chronic. Hepatitis E is usually acute but can be particularly dangerous in pregnant women.



Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is caused by an infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV).  This type of hepatitis is most commonly transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated by faeces from a person infected with hepatitis A.


Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with infectious body fluids, such as blood, vaginal secretions, or semen, containing the hepatitis B virus (HBV).  Injection drug use, having sex with an infected partner or sharing razors with an infected person increases your risk of getting hepatitis B.


Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C comes from the hepatitis C virus (HCV).  Hepatitis C is transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids, typically through injection drug use and sexual contact.


Hepatitis D

Also called delta hepatitis, hepatitis D is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV).  HDV is contracted through direct contact with infected blood.  Hepatitis D is a rare form of hepatitis that only occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B infection.  The hepatitis D virus can’t multiply without the presence of hepatitis B.


Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is a waterborne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV).  Hepatitis E is mainly found in areas with poor sanitation and typically results from ingesting faecal matter that contaminates the water supply.

Why does it happen?

It may because of drugs, alcohol use, or certain medical conditions.  Individual who have fulminant viral hepatitis produce the symptoms seen in viral hepatitis.  Then they rapidly develop severe, often life-threatening liver failure.  This situation can happen within hours, days, or sometimes weeks.

But, in most cases, it is because of by viruses.  This links to viral hepatitis and the most familiar forms are hepatitis A, B, and C.


How does Fulminant Viral Hepatitis happen?

Your liver is located in the right upper area of your abdomen.  It performs many critical functions that affect metabolism throughout your body.  Here is a list of key functions of the liver:

  1. The liver helps purify the blood by changing harmful chemicals into harmless ones.
  2. The liver produces many important substances, especially proteins that are necessary for good health.
  3. The liver stores many sugars, fats and vitamins until they are needed elsewhere in the body.
  4. The liver builds smaller chemicals into larger, more complicated chemicals that are needed elsewhere in the body. Examples of this type of function are the manufacture of a fat and cholesterol.

When the liver is inflamed, it does not perform these functions well, which brings about many of the symptoms, signs, and problems associated with any type of hepatitis.  The hepatitis virus replicates and multiplies especially in the liver cells.  This can cause the liver to not perform its function.   Most viruses, however, do not attack primarily the liver; the liver is just one of several organs that the viruses affect.

When most doctors speak of viral hepatitis, they are using the definition that means hepatitis caused by a few specific viruses that primarily attack the liver and are responsible for about half of all human hepatitis.

Fulminant Viral Hepatitis Symptoms and Treatments

For those who do develop symptoms of viral hepatitis, the most common are flu-like symptoms including:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Weakness or tiredness
  • Aching in the abdomen

Less common symptoms include:

  • Dark urine or very pale coloured stools
  • Light-colored stools
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)

Treatment of viral hepatitis

Treatment of chronic viral hepatitis involves medications to eradicate the virus and taking measures to prevent further liver damage.  Treatment of chronic infection with hepatitis B and hepatitis C usually involves medication or combinations of medications to eradicate the virus.  Doctors believe that in properly selected patients, successful eradication of the viruses can stop progressive damage to the liver and prevent the development of cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer.

Alcohol aggravates liver damage in chronic hepatitis and can cause more rapid progression to cirrhosis.  Therefore, patients with chronic hepatitis should stop drinking alcohol.  Smoking cigarettes also can aggravate liver disease and should be stopped.


Decisions regarding treatment of chronic hepatitis can be complex and should be directed by gastroenterologists, hepatologists (doctors specially trained in treating diseases of the liver), or infectious disease specialists for several reasons including:

  1. The diagnosis of chronic viral hepatitis may not be straightforward.  Sometimes a liver biopsy may have to be performed for confirmation of liver damage.
  2. Not all patients with chronic viral hepatitis are candidates for treatment.  Some patients need no treatment at all since some patients with chronic hepatitis B and C do not develop progressive liver damage or liver cancer.
  3. Most of the medications such as interferon can have serious side effects, and doses may have to be reduced.

How much does it cost to treat fulminant viral hepatitis

To check for hepatitis viruses, your doctor will test your blood. You may also need a biopsy to see if there is liver damage.  The most important aspect of treatment for fulminant viral hepatitis is to provide good intensive care support.  Specific therapy is also dependent on the cause of the patient’s liver failure and the presence of any complications.  One of the ways to know the overall cost of this treatment is best to check with the hospital.

Who can help you with this cost

Contact our Life Insurance Planner who is familiar with the costs involved in different hospitals.  Get in touch with us to understand the insurance coverage.
Be advised correctly.  Call us today at +6012 684 0948.


Levine Lee

Life Planner at Red Cover Life Planning
Levine Lee is an expert AIA insurance agent and life planner. She has over 12 years of working experience with AIA and ING Insurance as an insurance agent and life planner.This makes her efficient and effective to manage clients for AIA Group Insurance Plans, AIA Life Insurance and AIA Takaful policies.Based in the Klang Valley in Malaysia, Levine serves her customers all over Malaysia, as they move between cities because of job changes.

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Fulminant Viral Hepatitis
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Fulminant Viral Hepatitis
Fulminant viral hepatitis is a fast and severe impairment of liver functions or acute liver failure with hepatic encephalopathy developing that develops less than eight weeks after the onset of jaundice, secondary to viral hepatitis.
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Red Cover
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