Paraná investigates two suspected cases of mysterious acute hepatitis in children; one was discarded

The Health Department of Paraná (SESA-PR) reported this Friday (6) that it monitors two suspected cases of acute childhood hepatitis of unknown origin that affects children around the world. A third case was ruled out. The cases still investigated are in male children between 8 and 12 years old.

The Secretariat also stated that it has established surveillance for acute viral hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) caused by the common viruses that cause acute viral hepatitis, such as hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. of an acute hepatitis of unknown origin in children, Sesa is organizing the flow of surveillance and laboratory support and training health services on the disease, issued a technical note and held a videoconference on the issue with the Health Regionals, CIEVS Paraná Network and Hospital Epidemiological Surveillance Centers in the state. In addition, according to a note sent by the secretariat, it monitors daily the occurrences of cases and the evolution of investigations carried out in countries that are already presenting cases previously, in search of evidence that can direct and support the conduct already adopted by Paraná.

The Ministry of Health confirmed this Friday (6) that it also monitors four in Rio de Janeiro. The origin of the infection recorded in children is still unknown, but it can trigger a number of problems, including the need for a liver transplant and even death. As of May 3, about 230 cases of unknown hepatitis have been reported worldwide, according to information from the World Health Organization (WHO). Children and adolescents aged 16 and under are the most affected.

The folder also informed that the Centers for Strategic Information on Health Surveillance (CIEVS) monitor, together with the National Hospital Surveillance Network, any change in the epidemiological profile, as well as the detection of suspected cases of the disease, and guides health professionals and the Network National Surveillance, Alert and Response to Public Health Emergencies of the Unified Health System (VigiAR-SUS) that suspects are immediately notified.

On Thursday (5) the government of Argentina notified the confirmation of the first case of the disease in Latin America, in an eight-year-old boy. Then, Panama also confirmed a case in the country. Until then, only the United States and Europe had confirmed cases of the infection.

Although the syndrome affects patients up to 16 years of age, most cases are in the 2 to 5 year old range. The picture of European children is one of acute infection. Many have jaundice, which is sometimes preceded by gastrointestinal symptoms – including abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting – especially in children under 10 years of age. Most cases did not have fever.

In case of suspicion, blood tests (with initial experience that whole blood is more sensitive than serum), serum, urine, stool and respiratory samples, as well as liver biopsy samples (when available) are recommended. further characterization of the virus, including sequencing. Simple prevention measures for adenoviruses and other common infections involve regular hand washing and respiratory hygiene. Experts believe that the causative agent of the disease is an adenovirus that is transmitted by contact or through the air. Although it is currently hypothesized as an underlying cause, it does not fully explain the severity of the clinical picture.

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