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How to tell if your child has rare hepatitis that affects hundreds of children around the world

How to tell if your child has rare hepatitis that affects hundreds of children around the world
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Cases of hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, in otherwise healthy children have recently been reported in more than 25 countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned medical professionals to look for signs of this mysterious hepatitis of unknown cause which mainly affects children under 5 years old. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control released a report the week of May 11, which said there had been around 450 cases of the rare liver disease worldwide. The European health agency said that of those cases, 109 have been reported in the United States and five deaths in the United States are believed to have been due to the liver condition.

According to the CDC, After more than 90% of cases in the United States resulted in hospitalizations and 14% received liver transplants. None of the children were hospitalized with current infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the report.

Dr. Joseph DiNorcia is associate professor of surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and transplantation surgeon from the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital who spoke to Fox News about this pediatric hepatitis that worries parents and puzzles experts.

According to the CDC, nearly all childhood hepatitis cases in the United States have resulted in hospitalizations.
(iStock, file)

DiNorcia, who is also the surgical director of Pediatric Liver Transplantation at Mount Sinai, told Fox News that when the liver is inflamed, the liver’s many roles are affected.

The liver transplant surgeon said parents should look for the following in their children if they suspect liver disease:

– Fever

– Fatigue

– Gastrointestinal symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain

– Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)

– Dark urine or light stools

– Muscle and joint pain

If your child has any of the above signs or symptoms, DiNorcia told Fox News it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. He said a blood test could detect hepatitis if it shows elevated liver enzymes and abnormal liver function measurements.

There are several hypotheses about the cause of this mysterious liver disease. The CDC said there is an investigation into the possible association between pediatric hepatitis and an adenovirus infection after many children diagnosed with the rare liver condition tested positive for an adenovirus, according to the report from the CDC.

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According to health experts, adenoviruses are viruses that cause

When asked if there was a link between the hepatitis cases and the current COVID-19 pandemic, DiNorcia told Fox News, “There is no known link to COVID. Of the known cases of hepatitis, there has been no evidence of active COVID infection.”

The liver transplant specialist then explained other potential hypotheses. “Perhaps prior infection with COVID made these children more susceptible to hepatitis. Or hepatitis is the result of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) that occurs after infection with covid.” He also speculated that “or perhaps sheltering during the pandemic caused an abnormally robust and erratic immune response to anything that can cause hepatitis in children.” DiNorcia said medical professionals are investigating whether toxins, infectious agents or environmental exposures can cause hepatitis.

An expert has said there is no link to COVID-19 vaccines.

An expert has said there is no link to COVID-19 vaccines.
(iStock, file)

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When asked if there was a link to COVID-19 vaccines, DiNorcia replied, “No. Most cases occur in children between the ages of 2 and 5 who have not received the vaccine. “

If a child is diagnosed with this form of hepatitis, the doctor said initial treatment includes supportive care in a hospital setting to help the liver recover. However, the doctor warned, “If hepatitis progresses to liver failure, the only treatment is liver transplantation.

More than two dozen countries have reported cases of rare pediatric hepatitis.

More than two dozen countries have reported cases of rare pediatric hepatitis.
(iStock, file)

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To parents worried about this mysterious disease affecting their child, the liver specialist offered a few words of comfort: “Currently, there is no need to worry too much. Although there is clearly an ongoing phenomenon, the number of cases is extremely low and severe hepatitis is still extremely rare.”

The doctor said awareness is key. “Make sure children are up to date with their vaccinations. Continue the usual measures to prevent illnesses such as washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth, and avoiding people who are known to be sick.” DiNorcia said if your child has concerning symptoms, contact a health care provider immediately.

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