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In this week’s edition - we’ll walk out to the streets and survey Singaporeans about their knowledge of hepatitis B.
Questions to the general public are taken from a study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology published 14th march 2021, called “ Public awareness and knowledge of liver health and diseases in SIngapore “
Hepatitis B Questionnaire
Hepatitis B is a bacterial infection. True or false?
Answer : False - its a viral infection
Hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccination. True or false?
Answer : True - you can get vaccinated with 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccination for protection. In Singapore, it is mandatory for all new borns to be vaccinated with the 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine.
Hepatitis B can be transmitted by eating contaminated food. True or False?
Answer : False - Hepatitis b can only be transmitted via contact with blood or body fluids or sexual interactions.
Hepatitis B can cause liver failure or even liver cancer. True or False?
Answer : True. Hepatitis B is can lead to long term liver inflammation causing liver failure and liver cancer.
Which of these 4 choices are wrong?
Hepatitis B can be spread via
- A) Mother to child during delivery
- B) Contact with the blood of someone who has hepatitis b?
- C) Sharing needle or razor blade with someone who has hepatitis b?
- D) Mosquito bites
Answer : (D) - Hepatitis B cannot be spread through mosquito bites!
How do doctors like myself test for Hepatitis B virus infection in my patients?
- A) blood test
- B) stool test
- C) Ultrasound of the liver
Answer : A - we often test the patient’s blood for Hepatitis B surface antigen and Hepatitis B surface antibodies as the preliminary screening tests for Hepatitis B.
These are very easily available tests in clinics that do not require fasting and results are usually available within a matter of days.
Can Hepatitis B cause a lifelong infection? Or is it just a mild infection that you can recover completely from?
Answer : Hepatitis B can cause lifelong infection. In fact, the chance of chronic infection is highest amongst children. 90% of infants get long term Hepatitis B infection, and 25-50% of children 1-5 years of age will have long term Hepatitis B infection.
Are there treatment available for chronic hepatitis b? Yes or No?
Answer : There are medications now to help the body fight the Hepatitis B virus.
There are also medications now on trial in Singapore to prevent Hepatitis B virus from multiplying in your body.
As concluded form our series of interviews conducted, the general public’s knowledge of Hepatitis B in Singapore is still lacking. Please check out our series of articles relating to Hepatitis B to understand more on this viral disease.
By : Dr Chen Yiming
Family Physician, MBBS (Singapore), GDFM (NUS), GDFP Dermatology (NUS)