Lifestyle

Experts say cases of mysterious hepatitis in young children will increase

Most children are under the age of five and their condition began with nausea and diarrhea, followed by jaundice. Experts suspect a virus and do not rule out Covid-19

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What is hepatitis?

cases of Mysterious hepatitis Experts believe a surge is expected in young children linked to lockdowns.

UK Health Safety announced cases of sudden hepatitis in children have risen to 114 and of those 10 have received a liver transplant.

Most children are under the age of five and their condition began with nausea and diarrhea, followed by jaundice.

Experts suspect a virus and do not rule it out Covid-19.

However, the prime suspect is a family of common viruses called adenoviruses, which typically cause a range of mild illnesses, including the common cold, vomiting, and diarrhea. Most people recover without complications.







Experts suspect a virus and do not rule out Covid-19
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Getty Images/Westend61)

The UKHSA suspects children’s weakened immune systems after repeated lockdowns and social distancing could be a factor.

Prof Deirdre Kelly is one of the UK’s leading experts in pediatric hepatology and works in the Liver Unit at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

She said such widespread viruses would normally only cause hepatitis liver damage in immunocompromised children.

“We’re already seeing instances where cases are occurring after an issue has been raised and clinicians have been asked to be alert to possible cases,” she said.







The cases occurred in previously healthy children and some resulted in acute liver failure
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(Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)

“We have yet to see evidence of a link to previous Covid infection and whether affected children are genetically or immunologically different from others, particularly in relation to adenovirus, which may be a trigger rather than the causative factor.

“We need to know what the explanted livers showed at the time of transplantation.”

The World Health Organization announced over the weekend that one child had died from the disease. Cases have been discovered across Europe and the United States, and now increasingly in China and Japan.






Prof Deirdre Kelly is one of the UK’s leading experts in pediatric hepatology

So far 190 cases of “hepatitis of unknown origin” have been reported, 140 of them in Europe.

The cases occurred in previously healthy children and some resulted in acute liver failure.

In just over half of the cases, the children have recovered.

Hepatitis symptoms include dark urine, gray stools, itchy skin, jaundice, high temperature, vomiting, loss of appetite, and muscle and joint pain.

Until recently, however, children only came to the attention of specialists when they turned yellow from suspected jaundice.

Hepatitis is usually caused by the hepatitis A through E viruses, but in these cases the children were found not to have them, so the cause is still unknown.

dr Meera Chand, head of the UKHSA, said she suspects cases are triggered by adenovirus but with a lockdown-induced “vulnerability factor”.

She said: “Co-factors include a lack of prior exposure by this particular age group during the formative stages they went through during the pandemic.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/cases-mystery-hepatitis-young-children-26803983 Experts say cases of mysterious hepatitis in young children will increase

Fry Electronics Team

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