SC confirms first case of ‘mystery’ childhood hepatitis present in 20 countries; see where

The first suspicion of “mysterious” acute childhood hepatitis was confirmed by the Health Surveillance on the morning of this Friday (6), after a 7-year-old child was admitted to the Pequeno Anjo Hospital last Wednesday (4) in Itajaí, on the North Coast of the State.

The little one had acute hepatitis, inflammation of the liver, characterized by jaundice, which is yellowish skin and eyes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Abdominal pain is one of the symptoms of acute childhood hepatitis – Photo: Freepik/Disclosure/ND

In the hospital, a laboratory test showed an increase in transaminases (liver enzymes). The child received adequate care and was discharged from the hospital due to good general condition and improving laboratory tests, for outpatient follow-up.

The hospital followed the flow established in Alert Note No. 07/2022 – CIEVS/DIVE/LACEN/SUV/SES/SC, and the case was notified to the Ministry of Health by CIEVS-SC (Center for Strategic Information on Health Surveillance of Santa Catarina), on the 6th of May.

The SES continues the investigation of the case, together with the municipality of Itajaí and the Pequeno Anjo Hospital, with support from LACEN (Central Laboratory of Santa Catarina) to carry out the necessary laboratory tests to elucidate the case.

First case of acute childhood hepatitis “mysterious”  in Santa Catarina was registered at the Pequeno Anjo hospital in Itajaí –  Photo: Marcos Porto/Itajaí City Hall/DisclosureThe first case of “mysterious” childhood acute hepatitis in Santa Catarina was registered at the Pequeno Anjo hospital in Itajaí – Photo: Marcos Porto/Itajaí City Hall/Disclosure

The WHO (World Health Organization) issued in April 2022, an alert about this type of hepatitis, which is affecting children and adolescents. Last Wednesday, the organization reported that 228 cases had been reported in at least 20 countries, mainly in Europe.

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can have a variety of causes, from viral infections to excessive consumption of alcohol, some medications and toxic substances.

The main viruses that cause hepatitis are A, B, C, D and E. There are also autoimmune hepatitis, which are chronic diseases in which the individual’s own immune system attacks the liver cells, causing inflammation and changes in the organ’s function.

Hepatitis of unknown etiology in children

Sudden and severe hepatitis in healthy children is considered uncommon, so much so that it is not related to any of the common types that cause the disease. Preliminary results of cases of hepatitis of unknown etiology investigated so far indicate that there is no relationship between the disease and vaccination against Covid-19.

Testing to detect hepatitis virus is available at SUS –  Photo: Altemar Alcantara/Public Photos/DisclosureTesting to detect hepatitis viruses is available at SUS – Photo: Altemar Alcantara/Public Photos/Disclosure

It is important for parents and guardians to be aware of the characteristic symptoms of acute hepatitis in children, such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain and yellow skin and eyes. If there is any suspicion, they should be immediately taken to a health facility so that they can be evaluated and treated appropriately.

First recorded cases

The first ten cases of this acute hepatitis were reported by the UK to the WHO on 5 April. One fatal case has been reported in Europe and another three in Indonesia. The age of those affected ranges from 1 month to 16 years.

Those infected were children under the age of 10 without previous illnesses and, since then, infections have also been detected in Spain, Israel, Denmark, Italy, the United States and Belgium.

According to the WHO, there is an investigation to discover the causative agent of what, at the moment, the entity classifies as “acute hepatitis of unknown etiology”. Among the hypotheses, according to the organization, are infection by an adenovirus or another type of agent. The researchers are also investigating the possibility that the disease is a sequel to Covid-19.

The SUV (Superintendence of Health Surveillance), through the CIEVS (Center for Strategic Information on Health Surveillance) of Dive (Directorate of Epidemiological Surveillance of Santa Catarina), guided all health services through a note so that they are in alert for patients who fit the symptoms.

Check out the Dive document by clicking here.

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