The Ministry of Health has set up a situation room to monitor cases of acute childhood hepatitis of unknown origin. According to Folder, the proposal is to raise evidence to identify possible causes of the disease, as well as assist in investigations into reported diseases across Brazil.
On the 10th, the Ministry held a meeting with a group of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and representatives from eight countries in the region (United Kingdom, Spain, United States, Canada, France, Portugal, Colombia and Argentina). Emergency strategies in public health, infectology, pediatrics and epidemiology, to discuss the evidence available so far.
Earlier in the day, the folder published a technical note, including guidelines from the state and municipal health departments on notifications, investigations and laboratory flows of possible cases of acute hepatitis of unknown etiology among children and adolescents. Since the evidence of the disease is still very dynamic, the guidelines should be updated periodically in the situation room.
Which is known
Hepatitis of unknown origin has affected children in at least 20 countries. The disease manifests itself in very severe forms and has no direct relation to the known viruses of the disease. In about 10% of cases, a liver transplant was needed.
According to the WHO, more than 200 cases have been reported worldwide to date, with the majority (183) in the United Kingdom. There were also reports from Spain, Israel, the United States, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, France, Romania, Belgium and Argentina. The disease mainly affects children from one month to 16 years of age. So far one patient has died.
Details of the symptoms can be found on the PAHO website.