Sudden rise in Hepatitis cases among children

Sudden rise in Hepatitis cases among children: What are the possible causes?

 

Hepatitis is an inflammatory liver condition. It usually occurs due to a viral infection. However, there are many other possible causes.

Nowadays, Monkeypox and COVID-19 are in the news. Unfortunately, Hepatitis is also making its way in India and some parts of the world. It is also called black jaundice. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control in Europe has detected more than 600 mysterious cases of hepatitis among children.

Some of the main causes of Hepatitis B and C include:

  1. Using infected needles in making tattoos.
  2. Use of the same needles repeatedly among drug addicts.
  3. Infected blood transfusion.
  4. Close contact with an infected person.

However, there is no need to worry as its treatment is now possible.

More than 22 countries have reported cases of inflammation in the liver. The majority of them are in the United Kingdom with 175 and the United States with 180. The most disturbing thing is that many patients are children below five years. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, 9% of the patients require a liver transplant.

Moreover, the mysterious spike in India remains unexplained. The cases of Hepatitis in children who tested Corona positive have raised concerns. Experts from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research in Chandigarh and Bundelkhand Medical College, MP, have investigated the cases. They studied about 475 children who were COVID-19 positive from April to July 2021.

Out of these 475, 37 or 8% of children suffered from CAH – Covid Acquired Hepatitis. Occasional cases of Hepatitis from different parts of the country have been reported in the last two years.

The symptoms of COVID acquired Hepatitis are:

  1. Mild fever
  2. Weakness
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Nausea

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis cases

Black jaundice or hepatitis causes inflammation in the liver. It usually occurs due to a viral infection. In general, it is of two types hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Contaminated water and food, viruses, and toxins can also cause hepatitis.

28585 soldiers in 1942 developed hepatitis infection after taking the dose of the yellow fever vaccine. The number of hepatitis cases reached 16 million during the Second World War.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis?

Symptoms of inflammatory liver or hepatitis include:

  1. Yellow eyes or skin
  2. Joint pain
  3. Light-colored stools
  4. Dark yellow urine
  5. Abdominal pain
  6. Vomiting and nausea
  7. Loss of appetite
  8. Fatigue
  9. Fever

However, some people, especially children, do not show any symptoms. Chronic cases can even lead to cancer or liver failure.

What are the causes of hepatitis?

The experts have identified type 41 adenovirus as the major cause in recent cases in the US and Europe. In healthy kids, it is usually not linked with hepatitis but can cause an upset stomach. Adenovirus 41 causes hepatitis in children with a weak immune system.

Meanwhile, experts are trying to find a link between COVID-19 and the surge in hepatitis cases. According to the reports, the cases have increased during the time of the pandemic.

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