Posted on 04/29/2022 15:41 Updated on 04/29/2022 15:58
(Credit: Pixabay / Reproduction)
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning on April 23, warning the world about the serious hepatitis that affects children for a mysterious, unknown reason. Not yet present in Brazil, the disease has attracted the attention of scientists and some speculations are being studied, which revolve around an adenovirus, a potential increase in cases of hepatitis or a record of cases not previously recorded.
As of April 21, the WHO had issued 169 notifications in 11 European countries and one in North America. Cases in descending order have been reported in the United Kingdom (114), Spain (13), Israel (12), United States (9), Denmark (6), Ireland (5), the Netherlands (4), and Italy. (4)), Norway (2), France (2), Romania (1) and Belgium (1).
The report warns the world about double standards and encourages in-depth investigations into cases, as there is no history of such numbers, much less among children – a group that has traditionally had no hepatitis severity. Seriously, up to the day the report was published, about 10% of diagnosed children needed a liver transplant and one death was recorded. The most common, recorded cases are between one month and 16 years of age between the ages of three and five.
According to the hepatologist at the hospital Brasilia Natalia Trevizal, hepatitis is defined as inflammation of the liver which can be caused by various infectious and non-infectious factors. Infectious agents that can lead to the disease are viruses, such as hepatitis type (A, B, C, D, E) and those that are not related to the liver, such as herpes and cytomegalovirus. According to professionals, non-viral causes include certain drugs and toxic agents. In addition, alcohol abuse can also predict a picture of hepatitis.
The difference between normal and mysterious hepatitis
The main difference between the reported disease and common hepatitis in 12 countries is its striking feature, which is reaching a younger audience and the way it has evolved, abruptly – with little time between infection and growth), according to Marcela Santos, PhD in Public Health and University of Brasilia (UNB) ) Technical Coordinator of Health Situation Room.
What could explain the difference is that viruses go through different mutations over time and present a complex problem to evaluate without further laboratory studies. “It’s almost a lottery, whether we’re facing a new strain or not. If it fits a certain profile, it’s still too early to say. Nevertheless, we know that it is possible that mutations have an interrelationship, the interaction of the virus with other pathogens that may actually lead to a change in its characteristics and facilitate the development and deterioration of the disease, ”the researcher explained.
Common symptoms of the disease are restlessness, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, fever, yellowing of skin and mucous membranes, blackening of urine and pain. However, according to conspiracy theorists, the main symptoms are acute hepatitis and inflammation of the liver, organs and gastrointestinal tract with high levels of enzymes, which are documented manifestations in childhood. In many cases, diarrhea and vomiting are common, followed by severe manifestations of the disease and jaundice, or yellowing of the skin due to excess bilirubin, a substance found in bile which, in excess, can indicate liver problems.
Common forms of viral hepatitis have not been identified in any case, which may indicate that it is related to another type of infectious agent, such as adenovirus type 41 – the main hypothesis at the moment, according to hepatologist Natalia Trevizel. Despite being one of the leading bets by researchers around the world, “we still have no confirmation to point out a specific cause”, says Marcella Santos. There are also coronavirus speculations in some ways, but without confirmation.
“It is important that further case-control studies be developed to identify more precisely related factors,” said a UNB researcher. Case-control studies are an observational type where a hypothesis is examined and the causes are related to the disease, to identify whether there is a relationship between the causes and to give a direction to the population.
Since there are vaccines for certain types of hepatitis (A and B), an important question is whether they at least help improve the body’s resistance to “mystery hepatitis”. Marcella Santos noted that, so far, it is not possible to establish such a relationship, but it is important to prevent the vaccine against the already registered strains for which it is intended. “We don’t know if it could bring extra protection, but it’s important in any case,” he added.
Outlook of Brazil
Cases of pathology are still very local and there are no cases in Brazil. Despite this, it is known that there is a high probability of transmission of diseases with viral vectors, mainly due to globalization and ease of transmission due to aviation. This fact prompted the Parnambuco government to issue a warning and direct the state’s health network.
“Healthcare teams, especially pediatricians, should pay close attention to children / adolescents 16 years of age or younger, especially those who are reported to have passed through the affected area, who have symptoms consistent with jaundice or acute hepatitis,” the technology quoted a source as saying. . Notes from the State Department. The Department of Health in Parnambuco recommends multiple tests in suspected cases, including expanding the investigation of the disease with more information available.
The position of the state is important so that, thus, if the disease manifests itself in the country, it can be detected early and health authorities can act and detect the outbreak before it spreads. “We are not in a dangerous situation, but we must pay attention to the possible symptoms and contamination,” recommends an epidemiology analyst at UNB Marcela Santos.
Hygiene care and caution with material sharing is essential in any context, on a routine basis. But to prevent the disease, it is more relevant. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a note that “preventive measures against adenovirus and other common infections include regular hand washing and respiratory hygiene.”
* Internship under the supervision of Siebel Negromont