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: Between the years 1995 and 2011 approximately 24,000 HCV infections have been reported in Finland. Cases of Hepatitis B have been significantly declined from the survey of 1994-95 and have very low prevalence.
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: Hepatitis C has been studied frequently in Finland under the primary authority of National Infectious Disease Register (NIDR) working from 1995. Other well-known centres include National Institute for Health and Welfare and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki.