A- A A+
Home > Patients and Visitors > Health Library




What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis refers to the inflammations of the liver which may lead to liver scarring (cirrhosis), Liver cancer and liver failure.

It can be caused by viral infections. Hepatitis B and C-Viruses cause chronic diseases whereas Hepatitis A and E-viruses cause acute diseases.

Hepatitis can also be caused by fatty liver inflammation, excessive alcohol consumption and some medicines or supplements.

Fig 1: Realistic Illustration of a cirrhotic liver.


  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting


Hepatitis A

Direct contact with faecal matter from:

  • Close person-to-person contact wit an infected person
  • Consumption of contaminated food or drinks

Hepatitis B & C

Contact with infectious blood and other body fluids through:

  • Birth to an infected mother
  • Sexual contact with an infected person
  • Sharing of contaminated needles, syringes, or other injection drug equipment
  • Sharp instrument injuries
  • Transfusion of unscreened blood products

Prevention (Vaccination)

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is best prevented by vaccination. This is important if you are travelling to developing countries or have chronic liver disease.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is best prevented by vaccination.

Hepatitis C

No vaccination is currently available.


Hepatitis A

  • No specific medication
  • Most people recover after two weeks of medication to relive symptoms and bed rest

Hepatitis B

The treatment of Hepatitis B carriers include:

  • Blood tests, ultrasonography of the liver and fibroscan to assess the severity of the liver disease.
  • Drugs that effectively suppress viral replication and prevent further liver damage.
  • Surveillance for liver cancer, given the greater risk amongst Hepatitis B carriers compare to non-carriers.
  • Blood test and ultrasound scans are recommended one to two times per year.

Hepatitis C

  • High recovery rates can be achieved with current treatment options. Three months of oral pills is the standard treatment for Hepatitis C.
  • When virus is eliminated early, cirrhosis and the risk of liver cancer can be prevented.

How to Prevent Hepatitis (Lifestyle)

Hepatitis A

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Wash your hands with soap before and after meals
  • Properly cook shellfish before consumption
  • Adopt good food handling practices 

Hepatitis B & C

  • Avoid having multiple sex partners
  • Have protected sex
  • Avoid sharing of needles, sharp instruments, toothbrushes with individuals who are unsure of their Hepatitis status
  • Avoid blood, tissue, organs or semen donation if you are a Hepatitis carrier
  • Go to reliable operations for acupuncture, body piercing and tattooing services
  • Have regular checks with your doctor
Last Updated on