A mysterious form of hepatitis has hit hundreds of children all across the UK, US, and various other nations.
Officials of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have joined hands with those belonging to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for investigating the matter. Overall, 109 cases of hepatitis have been diagnosed. As such, Hepatitis marker testing is on the anvil.
Coming to North Carolina, the state health officials are issuing warnings to the parents to search for rare incidences of hepatitis in children.
Adenovirus usually causes pink eye or colds. However, the researchers state that sudden spike in Hepatitis could be attributed to heavy dosage of alcohol (which is catalysing the spread of this disease along with Adenovirus). Though Hepatitis B vaccines are in place, they can’t be administered just like that as the severity of the latest infections is yet to be diagnosed.
More to Hepatitis
As per Dr. Philippa Easterbrook, one of the senior scientists in the hepatitis department of the WHO, adenovirus type 41 is amongst the most common cases, which generally results in vomiting, diarrhoea, and fever, and also a few respiratory symptoms.
Healthcare personnel in the European Union are also suggesting administration of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) antiviral dosage, as they say that acute hepatitis occurring in children is beyond diagnosis. In other words, it’s difficult to categorize the virus as to causing Hepatitis A, B, C, D, or E. There have been cases wherein elevated levels of the enzymes are seen.
Looking at the gravity of the situation, hepatitis C treatment is being called for. Though it may not result in 100% respite, chances of exercising further control over the virus could be higher.
Philippa Easterbook has gone on record to state that the leading hypotheses as of now is that adenovirus is involved (as stated above). However, the researchers are also looking at the Covid angle herein. To put it simple, the researchers are checking if Covid has any role to play over here.
Data obtained from liver biopsy hasn’t reported of presence of adenovirus in children’s livers, thereby raising the eyebrows further. Easterbook states that it would take a week to get the complete data, so that a healthy comparison between adeno’s detection rate in hospitalized children and the ones not hospitalized. This will also open doors for further research and avoid shooting arrows in the dark.
Is it worth Panicking?
On the other hand, a doctor based out of Michigan has counselled that parents need not turn over-anxious regarding the wards’ seasonal hospitalizations.
Certain researchers have also gone to the extent of blaming the four factors in unison – exposure to dogs, Covid-19, adenoviruses, and lockdowns.
The WHO had already issued a global alert in this regard on Apr 15. The children are seen contracting jaundice, gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhoea, and vomiting. 70% of the children were found to be exposed to dogs. Paracetamol is being given to those suffering from mild fever, but the possibility of it being a beginning of Hepatitis can’t be ignored.
Waiting and Watching is the sole course of action!