We create new possibilities for life

WhatsApp Appointment

+65 8111 3777

Hepatitis (A, B, C)

  • What is Hepatitis (A, B, C)?

    Hepatitis refers to the swelling of the liver. It can be caused by viral infection, chemicals, drug abuse, certain medications or immune disorders. Several forms of viral hepatitis include hepatitis A, B and C, which are caused by hepatitis A, B, and C viruses respectively.

    Each type of viral hepatitis spreads differently and requires different treatments.

    Hepatitis A infection causes acute inflammation (swelling) of the liver. It is a self-limiting disease with symptoms lasting for several weeks before the patient recovers completely. It leads to lifelong immunity.

    Hepatitis B infection is the most common infection of the liver. The majority of infected patients recover from acute hepatitis B infections and become immune to it. However some patients can develop a long-term hepatitis B infection, which leads to serious complications, such as chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver failure and liver cancer. Hepatitis B is endemic in Singapore and around 4% of the population are hepatitis B carriers.

    Hepatitis C infection is responsible for the development of chronic liver disease worldwide. Most infected people cannot get rid of the virus and thus the virus causes ongoing damage to the liver over the years. Similar to hepatitis B, hepatitis C can lead to chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.

  • Hepatitis A virus is transmitted through:

    • Blood contact, drug use and sexual contact with infected persons
    • Consuming shellfish from water contaminated with sewage
    • Direct contact with food, drinks or objects contaminated with the faeces of an infected individual
    • The faecal-oral route in areas of poor hygiene and overcrowding, whereby bacteria in contaminated faeces is transmitted to the mouth of another person

    Hepatitis B virus is mainly found in the blood and it can also be found in semen and vaginal secretions. Hepatitis B can be acquired through:

    • Infected expecting mothers who transmit the infection to their newborn during childbirth
    • Activities that involve contaminated blood entering the bloodstream of a susceptible individual
    • Sharing contaminated injections among drug users
    • Unsafe sexual contact with an infected person

    Hepatitis C virus is mainly found in the blood and is transmitted when the blood of an infected person enters the bloodstream of a susceptible person, such as drug users sharing contaminated needles.

  • Some hepatitis patients are asymptomatic (show no symptoms). However, general symptoms may include:

    • Abdominal pain or discomfort
    • Dark urine
    • Decreased appetite
    • Fever
    • Jaundice (yellowish skin and eyes)
    • Tiredness
    • Nausea and dizziness
    • Oedema (swelling due to fluid build-up)
    • Painful joints
    • Pale stools
  • Hepatitis A

    There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A but some measures help to improve your condition:

    • Avoid drinking alcohol
    • Getting plenty of bed rest
    • Increasing fluid intake
    • Practising good personal hygiene to prevent faecal-oral transmission to other individuals
    • Taking prescribed medication if your symptoms worsen

    Hepatitis B

    Treatment of hepatitis B varies depending on the symptoms and stage of your disease. Treatment can include:

    • Anti-viral medication to stop the virus from replicating
    • Medication to ease symptoms

    Hepatitis C

    Treatment of hepatitis C aims to delay its complications:

    • Anti-viral medication to stop the virus from replicating
    • Avoiding alcohol as it can worsen liver damage
    • Regular screening for liver cancer for hepatitis C carriers, especially those who have liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
    • Liver cancer
    • Liver cirrhosis
    • Liver failure
    • Early death
  • Our Specialists

    There are 3 SpecialistsView All

    There are 3 SpecialistsView All

  • Related Health Articles