According to the World Health Organization, at least 169 children between the ages of one month to sixteen years have developed acute hepatitis in an outbreak that has spread to at least 11 nations. So, why are rare hepatitis cases rising in children?
Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the liver, which filters blood, fights infections, and processes nutrients, reports BBC.
At least one child has died as a result of the condition, while 17 others have needed liver transplants. The bulk of the instances, 114, were documented in the United Kingdom, followed by 13 in Spain, 12 in Israel, nine in the United States, and a smaller number in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, France, Romania, and Belgium.
There was no fever in the majority of the patients, and none of the usual viruses that induce acute viral hepatitis, such as adenoviruses, which cause hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E, were present.
“It is not yet clear if there has been an increase in hepatitis cases, or an increase in awareness of hepatitis cases that occur at the expected rate but go undetected,” said the WHO. “While adenovirus is a possible hypothesis, investigations are ongoing for the causative agent.”
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The clinical syndrome “among identified cases is acute hepatitis (liver inflammation) with markedly elevated liver enzymes,” as per the Saturday statement, with many people experiencing gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting “preceding presentation with severe acute hepatitis” together with enhanced concentrations of liver enzimes or alanine aminotransaminase and jaundice.
- dark urine.
- pale, grey-coloured poo.
- itchy skin.
- yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice).
- muscle and joint pain.
- a high temperature.
- feeling and being sick.
- feeling unusually tired all the time.
- loss of appetite.
- tummy pain.
According to the WHO, the majority of the cases did not display with a fever, and further research is needed into variables such as “increased susceptibility amongst young children following a lower level of circulation of adenovirus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the potential emergence of a novel adenovirus, as well as SARS-CoV-2 co-infection.”