Pathophysiology: Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory disease which is fairly common and mainly affects the liver. Viral hepatitis is classified as A, B, C, D, E and G. All types of hepatitis viruses cause similar kind of liver damage. Inflammation happens throughout whole liver and hepatocytes are destroyed by cytotoxic cytokines and natural killer cells being part of inflammatory process. Cellular necrosis takes place but liver usually able to repair itself and regain complete function if no other complications occur.
Disease Statistics: Hepatitis C and B remains a significant public health issue in Australia. In 2012, an estimated 230 000 people were living in Australia with chronic hepatitis C infection, including 58 000 with moderate to severe liver disease. The majority of HBV infections are not clinically recognised, with less than 10% of children and 30%–50% of adults experiencing jaundice.
Treatment: Intravenous rehydration is given as supportive care but no specific emergency treatment is recommended as such. Patients are admitted in conditions of severe complications. Evaluation for hepatic encephalopathy is done. Certain patients may benefit from pharmacologic therapy. Patients are advised to avoid prolonged or vigorous physical exertion until their symptoms improve and maintain adequate hydration.
Research: Researchers are primarily investigating the infections from HBV and HCV. Australian government department of health is working on these diseases and releasing strategies to reduce its occurrence.