Hepatitis: Symptoms of a disease that is causing mysterious events in children

Mysterious cases of hepatitis have been detected in children in Europe and the United States. At the moment, public health experts are still investigating the possible source of this disease known as hepatitis. In general, patients had yellow eyes and skin, but did not have a fever.

Despite its mysterious origin in the present case, hepatitis is already a known disease and, in most cases, is caused by infection with viruses A, B and C. Currently, Brazil provides vaccines against the first two types of infectious agents for children. Public health system.

Mysterious cases of hepatitis are detected in children, where 10% of liver transplants are required (Photo: Ruwanoff / Envato Element)

The mysterious phenomenon of the disease

In recent weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned health authorities about a growing number of mysterious forms of hepatitis in children. As of April 21, at least 169 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin have been reported in 12 countries, including mainland European members and the United States.

Here are five countries with the most mysterious cases of hepatitis on record:

  • United Kingdom: 114 chaos;
  • Spain: 13 cases;
  • Israel: 12 cases;
  • Us: 9 cases;
  • Denmark: 6 cases;

For now, the cases are associated with viruses that cause cold sores, known as human adenoviruses. “Although the adenovirus is a probable cause, investigations are underway for the causative agent,” the WHO explained.

Patients range in age from one month to 18 years. Among the differences in this case is the high number of liver transplants required due to inflammation. About 10% of them needed a transplant and one death has been reported so far.

What are the most common types of hepatitis?

In Brazil, the most common viral hepatitis is caused by viruses A, B and C. Yes, it is important to remember that various infectious agents cause this type of inflammation in the liver. In addition to the three main types, the Ministry of Health explains that “still, less frequently, is the Hepatitis D virus (more common in the northern part of the country) and the Hepatitis E virus, which is less common in Brazil, and more easily found in Africa and Asia.”

Hepatitis A

The hepatitis virus can be transmitted by food that has not been properly sterilized, such as vegetables (Photo: Reproduction / lzf / Envato Ingredients)

As the name implies, hepatitis A is caused by the Hominimas virus. Infection usually occurs through the consumption of food and drink contaminated by the feces of an already infected person.

Of the three main types of hepatitis A, A is considered the least common. After all, it tends to go away in a few months, although it can be serious and even fatal in some rare cases, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B virus is spread through the blood of an infected person. Thus, a person can become infected through shared use of syringes. Among babies, the biggest risk is infection from infected pregnant women to their own baby or from baby to baby contact.

Most adults can fight the virus and recover within a few months after starting proper treatment. However, most people infected as children develop a chronic infection, chronic hepatitis B. If left untreated, it can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is spread by contaminated blood. The difference is that it can be asymptomatic or can only cause flu-like symptoms. When the condition is not treated, the patient may develop chronic hepatitis C, which increases the risk of cirrhosis and liver failure.

Which is the children?

Although these are the most common types of conditions, there is no consensus that they are related to children of unknown origin. “Common viruses that cause acute viral hepatitis (hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses) have not been detected in any of these cases,” the WHO explained.

Symptoms of hepatitis in children

The main symptom of hepatitis in children is yellow eyes (Photo: Reproduction / CDC / Thomas F. Sellers / Emery University)

In general, parents and guardians can pay attention to some of the signs and symptoms of liver inflammation, such as:

  • Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin, due to bilirubin in the blood);
  • Dark urine;
  • Itchy skin (itching);
  • Muscle pain;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Anorexia nervosa;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Fever.

What is the case of unknown origin reported?

Again, mysterious events do not seem to be 100% associated with the classic symptoms of hepatitis. According to the WHO, “in most cases there was no fever”. On the other hand, gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting, and jaundice were common.

How to prevent childhood hepatitis?

Brazil has a vaccine against certain types of hepatitis (Photo: Twenty20 Photos / Envato Elements)

Vaccines are an important pillar in preventing the already known form of hepatitis. In Brazil, the Unified Health System (SUS) provides vaccines against hepatitis A – for children 15 to 5 years of age – and hepatitis B – where the vaccination process begins at birth and ends at 6 months.

In addition, experts suggest some important measures to prevent the spread of the virus:

  • Maintain hand hygiene, always wash with soap and water;
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating;
  • Avoid contact with the stool Check that the baby has cleaned himself properly after using the toilet;
  • Avoid close contact with other children who have flu or gastrointestinal symptoms.

With these measures, the baby will be better protected from a variety of infections, including the virus that can cause hepatitis. To date, no known source of the disease has been identified in Brazil, which represents relative protection.

Sources: WHO, Ministry of Health and NHS

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