Brazil's Health Ministry Thursday announced it was following 28 cases nationwide of acute childhood hepatitis of unknown origin, which are still under investigation.
”The strategic information centers for Health Surveillance (Cievs) and the National Network for Hospital Surveillance (Renaveh) monitor any change in the epidemiological profile, as well as suspected cases of the disease,” the ministry also said in a statement after instructing healthcare professionals to immediately notify the authorities of any suspected cases of the disease.
Hepatitis of unknown origin is affecting children in at least 20 countries. The disease manifests itself in a very severe form and is not directly related to the known viruses of the disease. In about 10% of cases, a liver transplant has been necessary.
In Brazil, the cases under study are in the state of Espírito Santo (2), Minas Gerais (4), Paraná (3), Pernambuco (2), Rio de Janeiro (7), Santa Catarina (2) and São Paulo (8).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 200 cases had been reported worldwide as of the 29th, most of them (163) in the United Kingdom. There have also been reports in Spain, Israel, the United States, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, France, Romania, Belgium, and Argentina. The disease mainly affects children aged one month to 16 years. So far, one child has been reported dead.
In a statement released April 23, the WHO said there is no link between the disease and the vaccines used against COVID-19. The hypotheses related to the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines have no support as the vast majority of affected children did not receive the covid-19 vaccination.
The United Kingdom's National Health Agency also said there was no evidence of any link of the disease to the coronavirus vaccine. Most of the affected children are under the age of five, too young to receive the vaccine.
According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), acute hepatitis patients had gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and jaundice (when the skin and white part of the eyes turn yellowish). No fever has been reported.
Current treatment seeks to relieve symptoms and stabilize the patient if the case is severe. Treatment recommendations should be refined once the source of infection is determined. Parents should watch for symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, and for signs of jaundice. In these cases, medical attention should be sought immediately.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)