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: According to a study dating from 1991-1992, 23 out of 100 000 inhabitants were affected each year by acute hepatitis A. Acute clinical hepatitis B appears each year among 6 in 100 000 of the population. 0.87% of the population were carriers of HCV antibodies nearly 3 out of 100 000 of the population.
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: Primarily more number of studies of Hepatitis B infection are being carried out in Belgium. National Viral Hepatitis Centre, Scientific Institute of Public Health in Brussels is one of the leading centres in the country.