South Dakota has become the twelfth U.S. state to investigate hepatitis

South Dakota is now investigating pediatric hepatitis, the twelfth state to report the disease – after a child died of the disease in Wisconsin.

State health officials said the patient was under the age of 10 and lived in Brown County on the North Dakota border.

This represents at least 32 confirmed or suspected cases of hepatitis in the United States, including five liver transplants and one death.

Four children are believed to have died from the disease worldwide after Indonesia said it was investigating three deaths.

To date, there have been more than 220 cases – mostly in the UK – and 18 liver transplants, but experts warn that this could only be the tip of the iceberg.

Researchers are amazed at the number of cases in which none of the infected children have been exposed to the viruses that cause normal hepatitis.

They linked many to the adenovirus – which could trigger the flu – and even said that blockades or a previous Covid infection could be responsible.

The map above shows that there are confirmed cases (red) and suspected cases (yellow) of hepatitis. The numbers in the states correspond to the numbers in the table that contains the case numbers to their right

Q&A: What is the enigmatic global hepatitis and what is behind it?

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, usually caused by a viral infection or liver damage from alcohol consumption.

Some cases resolve on their own, there are no problems, but some may be fatal, and these patients need a liver transplant to survive.

Why are experts worried?

Hepatitis is more common in children, but experts have found that the current epidemic is more frequent than expected a year later.

According to the World Health Organization, the origin of the disease is unknown and serious. It caused two deaths and 18 liver transplants.

What are the higher theories?

Co-infection

Experts say these cases may be related to the common cold-related adenovirus, but further research is ongoing.

This can be combined with Covid infection and lead to an increase in cases.

The WHO says at least 74 cases of adenovirus have been detected. At least 20 children have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Weakened immunity

British experts, who are tasked with investigating many diseases, believe that the endless cycle of blockades may have played a role.

Restrictions can weaken children’s immunity and increase their risk of contracting adenovirus due to reduced social interaction.

This means that even “normal” adenovirus can have serious consequences, because children do not respond to it as before.

Adenovirus mutation

Other scientists say the adenovirus may have “special mutations.”

This means it can be contagious or can improve children’s natural immunity.

New Covid option

UKHSA staff included a “new version of SARS-CoV-2” in the working hypotheses.

Covid rarely caused inflammation of the liver during a pandemic, but they were present in people of all ages, not children.

environmental triggers

The UKHSA noted that environmental triggers are still being studied as possible causes of disease.

These may include contamination or exposure to certain drugs or toxins.

Dr. Josh Clayton, an epidemiologist in South Dakota, called on state doctors to look into cases of hepatitis.

He said they are now working closely with the CDC to determine the cause of the situation.

A total of 11 other states have reported cases so far. These are Alabama, Delaware, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, Wisconsin, California and Minnesota.

New York, Illinois and Georgia said they were investigating suspected cases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday that at least 228 possible cases of hepatitis have been reported in children in 20 countries.

It said more than 50 other cases were being investigated.

Most cases were 145 from the UK and 20 from the US, which have the most powerful surveillance systems.

The agency did not say in which countries additional cases were reported, but other health authorities have identified the disease in Austria, Germany, Poland, Japan and Canada, and Singapore is investigating a possible case in a 10-month-old baby.

Indonesia said yesterday that three children suspected of having hepatitis had died of unknown causes.

In the United States, children with hepatitis are generally less than 10 years old.

Patients with the disease suffer from vomiting, diarrhea and jaundice – where the skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow – the CDC said.

More than half also developed fever.

For the first time since October, cases have been reported in Alabama.

But at least one patient is still waiting for a liver transplant at a Minnesota hospital.

Many children who underwent tamponade tested positive for adenovirus, reinforcing theories that it may be behind the high incidence of the disease.

However, some do not believe that it is not uncommon to become infected with the virus.

Dr Mira Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections at Britain’s UKHSA health agency, told parents that the risk of their children becoming infected with hepatitis was “very low”.

“However, we warn parents to beware of signs of hepatitis, especially jaundice, which is especially noticeable as yellow in the whites of the eyes, and if you are concerned, see a doctor,” he said. he said.

Dr. Chand added, “Regular hygiene measures, including thorough hand washing and proper hand washing in children, can help reduce the spread of many common infections.

“As always, children who notice symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea should stay home and not return to school or kindergarten until 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.”

Hepatitis is usually rare in children, but experts have found more cases in the UK than expected in a year since January.

Scientists have previously speculated that the cases may be the “tip of the iceberg,” but there may be more than previously observed.

It is especially difficult to look for unknown causes, as there may be several factors behind the disease that do not apply to all diseases.

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