Hepatitis of unknown origin in boys: a suspicious case is ruled out and a health alert is issued

The suspected case of severe hepatitis of unknown origin which was in the studio Ricardo Gutierrez Children’s Hospital ended up being ruled out, while health surveillance increases to detect probable cases and the national health portfolio issued, today, an epidemiological alert, after the publication of THE NATION. The Argentine Society of Pediatrics (SAP) also issued a document with recommendations. They are, for the moment, 190 cases reported in the world.

“We had a girl admitted to the hospital with a sepsis picture with liver compromise and, therefore, elevation of transaminases [enzimas que indican si hay daño hepático], who responded adequately to antibiotics and was discharged. She was hospitalized last week, ”he explained. Angela Gentile, head of Epidemiology at Gutiérrez. “We are raising awareness of surveillance, since we are in an alert situation,” she added.

In this context, the specialist recalled the importance of updating the calendar vaccines that prevent known hepatitis. “They are the hepatitis A vaccine, which is a single dose at one year of age, with which Argentina led the single-dose strategy, and the hepatitis B vaccine, which is part of the quintuple or pentavalent vaccine and is given in the first year of life (at two, four and six months), with a booster at 18 months”, he detailed.

Yesterday, as also anticipated THE NATION, the SAP issued a document with recommendations for the health team. In its alert on the outbreak of this type of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin, mainly in children under 10 years of age, the entity states: “Although no increase in cases of acute hepatitis has been observed in the country or in the region in In relation to other years, we must raise awareness of the suspicion of hepatitis in the event of the appearance of compatible cases”, in addition to officially notifying it.

Moments ago, he Ministry of Health of the Nation issued an alert for “strengthen the detection of severe acute hepatitis in children under 16 years of age with negative tests for viral hepatitis (A, B, C, E and D)”.

Like the SAP, the health portfolio recommends “include in the study of these patients, the detection of adenovirus”.

It is that, according to research in Europa y USA with the World Health Organization (WHO), these cases could be associated with a virus that commonly causes gastroenteritis and respiratory infection: adenovirus 41 (Ad41). Until now, this germ was not a known cause of hepatitis in healthy boys, as in these cases, and with an injury so serious that 10% need a transplant.

The population is recommended to maintain the same care as for Covid-19: wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth without first sanitizing your hands.

In addition, parents or adults in charge of children under 16 years of age are asked to be attentive to the appearance of fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) in those under 16 years of age.

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