July 1, 2022

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What Shall We Need to Know About the Case of Childhood Liver Damage?

What Shall We Need to Know About the Case of Childhood Liver Damage?



 

Unexplained Hepatitis in Children: What Shall We Need to Know About the Case of Childhood Liver Damage?

More than 200 cases of childhood hepatitis are under investigation , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CNET reported .

The majority of these cases are retrospective, meaning that earlier cases are only now being reported as the CDC investigation into childhood hepatitis of unknown cause continues.

According to the CDC’s latest May update , five children have died from liver damage, but no other deaths have been reported since February.

 

Dr. Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases, said at a media briefing in early May that despite the rarity, children develop unexplained hepatitis.

But the number of hepatitis cases in otherwise healthy children is what prompted the CDC to investigate and identify links reported in some European countries as well as in the United States.

 

Butler noted earlier this month that a preliminary U.S. analysis did not find a significant increase in pediatric hepatitis cases or liver transplants.

But other countries with universal medical records and better medical tracking reported an increase in hepatitis cases among children under 5, Healthline reported.

 

According to the CDC, adenovirus was detected in about half of the children and continues to be “a strong clue.” The CDC is paying particular attention to adenovirus type 41, which commonly causes gastrointestinal symptoms in children.

 

What Shall We Need to Know About the Case of Childhood Liver Damage?

 

 

“It’s important to note that this is an evolving situation,” Butler said earlier this month. “We’re casting a wide net to help broaden our understanding.” He said the CDC is reviewing the reports, which date back to 2021.

 

Adenoviruses are common viruses that can cause cold-like symptoms, bronchitis, diarrhea, pink eye, and other problems.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can lead to liver failure in some cases. The liver’s job is to filter the blood to help fight infection and other vital functions.

 

Because adenoviruses are not known to cause hepatitis in otherwise healthy children who are not immunocompromised, CDC requires public health departments to report all unexplained cases of hepatitis to local and state health departments.

 

What does the CDC know?

Reports of childhood hepatitis remain rare overall, but CDC health officials are investigating these cases because it is unusual for otherwise healthy children to develop severe hepatitis.

The CDC is investigating reports of children under the age of 10 with symptoms of hepatitis.

 

The CDC is investigating more than 200 reports of pediatric hepatitis in 38 U.S. states and territories over the past few months.

More than 90 percent of the children were hospitalized, and some needed liver transplants, Butler said in a media release. Similar cases in children are being investigated in the UK.

 

The original CDC alert was based on a report of nine children, ages 1 to 6, who were being treated at an Alabama hospital for hepatitis.

Some people tested positive for adenovirus type 41. Adenovirus 41 is more typical in immunocompromised patients and is not known to cause hepatitis in otherwise healthy children, Butler said. He added that the nine initial cases were not linked to COVID-19 infection, and none of the sick children had been vaccinated.

Most people aren’t even eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which is only available to children 5 and older.

 

 

Symptoms of hepatitis in children

The CDC says it asks parents and caregivers to be aware of the symptoms of hepatitis and to contact their healthcare provider if they have any concerns.

 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, some symptoms of unexplained hepatitis in children include:

  • fatigue.
  • fever.
  • Nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite.
  • stomach ache.
  • Dark urine or light-colored stools.
  • Itchy skin.
  • joint pain.
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice).

 

 

Is there a hepatitis vaccine?

There are vaccines for hepatitis A and B.

Hepatitis can be caused by different things, including drug use, alcoholism, and even certain diseases.

It can also be caused by a virus; the most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States are hepatitis A, B, and C. The CDC excludes all three types of hepatitis in its published pediatric cases.

 

Some hepatitis cases are acute (they don’t last more than six months), while others are chronic (last more than six months).

According to the Cleveland Clinic, hepatitis C, which is transmitted through blood contact, causes chronic liver infections in 75 to 85 percent of patients.

 

 

Reference:

https://www.cdc.gov/ncird/investigation/hepatitis-unknown-cause/updates.html

What Shall We Need to Know About the Case of Childhood Liver Damage?

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