Get to Know Acute Hepatitis Affecting Children14 June 2022
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the incidence of 'mysterious' acute hepatitis that has infected children in various countries on April 5, 2022.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the incidence of 'mysterious' acute hepatitis that has infected children in various countries on April 5, 2022. This incident happened to previously healthy children, ranging in age from 11 months to 5 years. Meanwhile in Indonesia, the Indonesian Ministry of Health has reported the findings of three suspected cases of death due to acute hepatitis in the two weeks to April 30, 2022.
At this time, WHO declares that Acute Hepatitis of Unknown Etiology is an Extraordinary Event (KLB) that has infected children in Europe, America, and Asia since April 15, 2022.
As a prevention effort, let's learn how to identify the symptoms of acute hepatitis that infected these children, along with the causes and prevention steps in the following article.
What causes mysterious acute hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease of the liver. Hepatitis can appear suddenly and then disappear (acute), or it can be a long-term condition that triggers progressive (chronic) liver damage.
Until now, experts in various countries are still investigating the main causes of Mysterious Acute Hepatitis in children. This is because the most frequently involved infectious agents or viruses responsible for hepatitis A, B, C, D and E, were not found in patients with Mysterious Acute Hepatitis. However, the current strong suspicion is that the mysterious acute hepatitis of children is caused by adenovirus.
Doctors found that some of the children diagnosed with a mysterious acute hepatitis disease were tested positive for a type of adenovirus called Adenovirus 41, although not all cases showed adenovirus 41 infection. Adenovirus 41 is a common trigger of infection in children under 10 years of age, and in normal cases only cause diarrhea and vomiting. So far there is no indication that adenovirus infection is associated with hepatitis.
What are the symptoms of Childhood Mysterious Acute Hepatitis?
Most are gastrointestinal symptoms, usually vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever – as this is an infection, it can cause fever. Furthermore, there can be jaundice in the eyes, and in more severe case, jaundice in body. If many liver cells are damaged, fulminant hepatitis can occur, causing decreased consciousness. So depending on the degree, severity of damage causes severity in symptoms. In addition to decreased consciousness, seizures can occur which can lead to death if not treated.
Therefore, from the start, we must be vigilant if we are faced with cases with suspected gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, jaundice, dark urine the color of tea. If there is a fever occurs, give fever-lowering drugs which contains paracetamol. If the vomiting is quite frequent, antiemetic drugs can be given. To avoid dehydration, keep giving fluids. Drink should be enough, given little by little.
Masyarakat Agar Waspada Setelah 3 Pasien Anak Dengan Hepatitis Akut Meninggal Dunia (2022), from: https://sehatnegeriku.kemkes.go.id/baca/rilis-media/20220501/3939769/masyarakat-agar-waspada-setelah-3-pasien-anak-dengan-hepatitis-akut-meninggal-dunia/
Hepatitis Outbreak in Children: What to Know (2022), from: https://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/news/20220503/hepatitis-outbreak-in-children-what-to-know