Hepatitis in children: what is it and how to identify the symptoms – 06/05/2022

A few weeks ago, on April 15, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning about the spread of hepatitis in children with no known cause. . The first ten cases were identified by the UK in children under the age of ten, with no prior events, and were reported to the agency in April. To date, about 200 cases have been reported in other countries in Europe, the United States and Asia, and since then, scientists around the world have been trying to find out what causes the disease. no. But what exactly is childhood hepatitis?

“Hepatitis is the name given to the inflammatory process of the liver, which is usually caused by an infection,” explains pediatrician Alfredo Elias Gilio, clinical supervisor. immunization at Israelita Hospital Albert Einstein and professor at USP School. of drugs .. The main cause of hepatitis is a virus (A, B, C, D, E), but the disease can be caused by overdose, autoimmune disease, alcohol and drugs.

In children, liver disease most often occurs as a result of diarrhea, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite. It usually turns into jaundice – which is yellow in the skin and white of the eyes. Other symptoms of hepatitis are dark urine and white stools. “There are cases where the child may not have jaundice, but, in most cases, it is the yellow color of the eyes that appeals to parents. It is at this time that they often go to the doctor,” warns Gilio.

How is the diagnosis done?

In general, given these symptoms and after a detailed anamnesis of the child’s condition and medical history, the doctor prescribes some tests of liver enzymes in the blood to confirm that the test – when there is liver disease, the amount of enzymes in the blood. blood pressure ..

Once diagnosed, it is necessary to know the cause / history of hepatitis. “In children, for the most part, the most common side effect is hepatitis A. In general, it does not require hospitalization, is usually mild, and most cases are positive. Special treatment, we take care of the symptoms and the disease itself recovers, “explains Gilio.

Hepatitis A is spread through the mouth, by eating contaminated food and / or water, and by living in unsanitary conditions. One type of transmission is less likely to be sexually transmitted. Professor Giglio pointed out that due to the hepatitis A and B vaccines in the National Vaccination Calendar, the number of hepatitis B vaccines in children has been reduced in Brazil.

The situation is unknown in history

What keeps police on the UK situation is the unknown history of the disease occurring in children – all under the age of 16, usually under 10, all eating nerves. Viruses A, B, C, D and E, the most common, were excluded. After completing several experiments, the researchers found that most adenovirus 41F was present.

According to Gilio, there are more than 50 adenovirus subtypes and, most commonly, they cause mild respiratory distress and abdominal pain. But it is not yet said that this subtype is the cause of severe pain in children, because it is not found in all models.

“The cause of this phenomenon is still speculative, clinical. We need more solid data to answer the question: Are these events having any impact on the child’s health?” Previously with Covid-19? Did Covid-19 alter the immune response? Is it the adenovirus that causes real hepatitis? Could it be the genome of the adenovirus? has changed and it has become tighter? There are many questions that we still do not know how to answer, “Gilio said. “One thing we already know is that these diseases have nothing to do with the coronavirus vaccine, mostly because they occur in children in the unvaccinated age group. [abaixo de 5 anos]. This needs to be strengthened, ”the teacher added.

There is still no answer as to the history of the disease, but according to Gilio, there is no reason for parents to be afraid. The best direction is to see a doctor if the child has any symptoms related to the disease. “Without despair, we have not yet reached every point in Brazil,” he concluded.

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