WHO’s first course of investigation reveals that close to 74 children aged 10 and below have been diagnosed with Hepatitis in the UK alone. It has also confirmed about children in Spain and Ireland getting acute hepatitis. Spanish media mentioned that children aged from 2 to 7 were the ones infected the most.
As per the US CDC, it’s looking into cases in Alabama inclusive of the adjacent states.
Hepatitis comes across as inflammation caused to the liver owing to numerous factors – viral infection being one of them. The extended report of the WHO says that March witnessed 9 children falling sick on this count. One such ailment was reported in the month of January as well.
According to the UN health body, 10 cases pertaining to severe acute hepatitis, that too, of unknown aetiology, were reported in children aged below 10 all through central Scotland in the first week of April.
WHO also confirmed that 0% deaths were reported, but didn’t miss out on stating that the UK did observe rise in adenovirus activity, which has been co-circulating with the SARS-CoV-2. At the same time, it’s seen that the role these viruses play in pathogenesis isn’t clear as of now. Investigations are being launched even in the above-mentioned European regions.
What do the Experts say?
Experts say that liver ailment has turned out to be a lifestyle disease all over, with countries like India also not being behind. With World Liver Day on April 19, various awareness campaigns are being held for spreading awareness regarding liver-related diseases like Hepatitis B.
With Europe and the US on high alert as mentioned above, the Kenyan Ministry of Health has also asked the healthcare personnel to not take children showing even mild symptoms casually. Hepatitis B causes the liver to swell, thereby resulting in abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice. Still, the WHO hasn’t imposed any travel restrictions as situation is pretty much under control, through an upsurge in cases is expected.
As of now, none of the countries all across the African continent have reported about the disease. However, the WHO has stated upfront that looking at the rate at which search activities are being conducted, more number of cases are likely to get reported in the days to come.
Though laboratory testing did exclude Hepatitis type A, B, C, and E, children were reported to test positive for “adenoviruses”, which are best known to cause common cold. The transmission happens via respiratory route or touching the contaminated surfaces. Laboratory testing for extra infections, toxins, and chemicals is certainly underway for the cases that have been identified.
The WHO has expressed its wonder regarding the fact that this outbreak in the UK comes when Africa is witnessing the longest-running decline in the weekly Covid-19 infections since it all started in 2020. Its prediction goes further such that the upcoming winter season in Southern Hemisphere could result in increase in cases.
In a nutshell, fast diagnosis of Hepatitis is on the anvil.