Hepatitis B: Prevention and Management

Frontier Healthcare

More than a third of the world’s population is infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV).1 It is estimated conservatively that there are 350 million chronic carriers of HBV worldwide.1 In Singapore, 1 in 25 people (4%) have chronic hepatitis B infection.2


The hepatitis B virus causes hepatitis B infections, which are potentially fatal liver infections.3 It is a serious global health problem that increases a person’s risk of dying from liver cancer and cirrhosis.3

What are the symptoms of hepatitis B?


Generally, most individuals do not experience any symptoms when they are newly infected. However, some may experience acute illness with symptoms that last several weeks.3


Below are the symptoms of hepatitis B:2


symptoms of hepatitis b

What are the preventive measures for hepatitis B?


Vaccination is key to preventing and managing HBV infections as it prevents vulnerable individuals from contracting the disease, thereby lowering the number of community carriers.1–3


Below are several ways to prevent HBV infections:

ways to prevent HBV infections



How is hepatitis B managed?


There is no specific treatment for acute HBV infection; therefore, care is aimed at maintaining comfort and adequate nutritional balance, including the replacement of fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea.2


Below are several ways to manage hepatitis B in affected individuals:2

ways to manage hepatitis B


How is hepatitis B diagnosed?


Laboratory tests, which include assessment of liver disease activity and function, are essential to confirm the diagnosis of hepatitis B. Several blood tests are available to diagnose and monitor people with hepatitis B. They can be used to distinguish between acute and chronic infections.2

Hepatitis B carriers are recommended to undergo periodic blood tests and ultrasound scans to assess their liver function and to screen for liver cancer.4,5


How is hepatitis B transmitted?


The transmission of hepatitis B occurs in several ways as depicted below:1–3

how hepatitis b is transmitted



  1. Banchev A, Batorova A, Kotnik BF, et al. A cross-national survey of people living with hemophilia: Impact on daily living and patient education in central Europe. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2021;15:871–883.
  2. James L, Fong CW, Foong BH, et al. Hepatitis B seroprevalence study 1999. Singapore Med J. 2001;42:420–424.
  3. World Health Organization. Hepatitis B,

Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-b.

Accessed on: December 2022.

  1. Rotman Y, Brown T, Hoofnagle J. Evaluation of the patient with chronic hepatitis B. Clin Liver Dis. 2009;49:S22–S27.
  2. Aghoram R, Cai P, Dickinson JA. Alpha-foetoprotein and/or liver ultrasonography for screening of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Epub ahead of print 2012. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.cd002799.pub2.


About Frontier Healthcare Group

Frontier Healthcare (as part of the Qualitas Primary Care Division) runs 18 GP clinics, 2 Family Medicine Clinics (Clementi and MacPherson) and has 37 affiliated GP clinics under its Frontier Primary Care Network Program. Frontier Healthcare supports national schemes such as the Community Health Assist Scheme (Pioneer, Merdeka, CHAS Green, CHAS Orange, CHAS Blue), Baby Bonus, Healthier SG, MBS@Gov etc, as well as partnerships with major Insurers, Corporates and TPA partners to bring quality and affordable healthcare closer to the community.