The Ministry of Health reported today (11) that it is monitoring 28 suspected cases of a type of acute childhood hepatitis of unknown origin. There are two in the state of Espírito Santo, four in Minas Gerais, three in Paraná, two in Pernambuco, seven in Rio de Janeiro, two in Santa Catarina and eight in São Paulo.
“The cases are still under investigation. The Health Surveillance Strategic Information Centers (Cievs) and the National Hospital Surveillance Network (Renaveh) monitor any changes in the epidemiological profile, as well as suspected cases of the disease.
The ministry instructed health professionals to immediately notify the health authority of 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 has no direct relationship with the known viruses of the disease. In about 10% of cases, liver transplantation was necessary.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 200 cases, until the last day 29, had been reported in the world, the majority (163) in the United Kingdom. There were also 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 to have died.
In a statement released on April 23, the WHO said there was no link between the disease and the vaccines used against Covid-19. “The hypotheses related to the side effects of covid-19 vaccines are not supported as the vast majority of affected children did not receive the vaccination against covid-19”.
In a note released in early April, the National Health Agency in the United Kingdom, the country with the highest number of reported cases, also said that there was no evidence of any link between the disease and the coronavirus vaccine. “Most of the affected children are under five, too young to receive the vaccine.”
According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the WHO’s Americas and Caribbean arm, patients with acute hepatitis have experienced gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and jaundice (when the skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow). There was no record of fever.
Current treatment seeks to alleviate symptoms and stabilize the patient if the case is severe. Treatment recommendations should be refined once the source of the infection is determined.
Parents should be on the lookout for symptoms, such as diarrhea or vomiting, and for signs of jaundice. In such cases, medical attention should be sought immediately.
A detail of the symptoms of the disease can be found in the site from Opas.