How to Recognize Hepatitis Symptoms in Kids

  • Hepatitis has been found in hundreds of children around the world.
  • Experts are baffled as to what is driving these unusual occurrences.
  • Hepatitis symptoms, such as nausea and fever, can be moderate at first. Jaundice is one of the symptoms of severe hepatitis.

The CDC has been looking into a series of severe, unexplained instances of hepatitis in youngsters around the country, which could all be linked to a mysterious global outbreak. As of May 1, at least 228 cases had been documented worldwide.

In the United States, the cases have resulted in the hospitalization of the majority of the children, several liver transplants, and five fatalities.

Hepatitis is a rare disease in children, with the World Health Organization indicating that those infected ranges in age from one month to sixteen years.

a reliable source This is especially concerning because researchers are still unsure what is causing this disease.

While further research is needed, experts have offered their opinions on how to recognize the signs of hepatitis in youngsters.

What exactly is hepatitis?

Hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver.

Heavy drinking, pollutants, certain drugs, and certain medical problems can all contribute to it. Hepatitis can also be caused by viruses.

Hepatitis A, B, and C are the three most prevalent hepatitis viruses we hear about.

Viral hepatitis is usually transmitted through the blood or bodily fluids of someone who has the condition.

However, researchers have been unable to identify a clear reason or link between many of these new cases of pediatric hepatitis.

What could be the source of the hepatitis outbreak?

Authorities are currently investigating the cause of these hepatitis cases, although an adenovirus infection is one possible link. In several of the hepatitis cases, doctors discovered that the children's blood tests revealed adenovirus infection. a reliable source

"The investigation is still ongoing. HPV's still unclear how it spreads or what the most prevalent vehicle is. Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine, Health Policy, and Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, remarked, "There is no interaction between the sick children in any area."

According to Schaffner, the only possible relationship between the patients thus far appears to be an adenovirus infection.

According to a CDC telebriefingTrusted Source, half of the 109 children in the United States with hepatitis also tested positive for adenovirus.

Adenovirus has been found in 74 instances worldwide, according to the WHO. Adenoviruses are responsible for a variety of ailments, including fever, sore throat, common cold, flu, and other respiratory symptoms. It can also cause pink eye or gastroenteritis.

Dr. Adam Ratner, Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at NYU Langone Hassenfeld Children's Hospital, said, "Adenoviruses can be transmitted through the air or by the fecal-oral route, which is often how gastrointestinal adenoviruses are distributed."

Although hepatitis is not a typical complication of adenovirus infection, it has been recorded in children with weakened immune systems.

What are the hepatitis symptoms?

Hepatitis symptoms are ambiguous at first and could be caused by a variety of factors.

Nausea, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, and vomiting are some of the symptoms. Other signs of hepatitis include dark urine and light-colored feces. Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, is one of the more dangerous signs.

"As the liver inflammation progresses, the most recognizable symptoms emerge, such as yellowing of the whites of the eyes and a yellowish cast on the skin," Schaffner explained. "Light stools and dark urine may accompany it. Hepatitis signs are obscure until it becomes more acute."

Should parents be concerned about hepatitis in their children?

While these examples are troubling, they are still uncommon. Experts advise parents not to be overly anxious about their children socializing or attending school.

If their kid cannot keep fluids down or if any of their cold or flu-like symptoms do not improve, parents should contact their pediatrician. If there is evidence of black urine, light-colored feces, or jaundice, parents should contact their pediatrician.

There is no link between the hepatitis outbreaks and Covid-19 at this time.

How can parents safeguard their children against hepatitis?

It's tough to say how to prevent hepatitis because the cause is still being investigated. However, scientists feel that if the adenovirus is to blame, standard cold and flu prophylaxis would be the most effective.

"We give the normal advice: wash your hands frequently, avoid people who appear to be ill for other reasons, and so on." "Aside from that, there's nothing specific we can say," Schaffner added.

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