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Pathophysiology: Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory disease which is mainly affects liver. Viral hepatitis is classified as A, B, C, D, E and G. Hepatitis viruses cause liver damage. Inflammation happens throughout liver and hepatocytes are destroyed by cytotoxic cytokines and natural killer cells. Cellular necrosis occur but liver usually able to repair itself and regain complete function if no other complications occur. There are three phases: Prodromal phase, Icteric phase and Recovery phase.
Disease Statistics: Hepatitis A was common in Singapore in the 1970s. The incidence has declined dramatically in past three decades. The incidence of acute hepatitis B infection has declined by 60%.
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: Ministry of health in Singapore has the living standards in past decades and now funding several organizations for further eradication of viral hepatitis.