image

Explainer-Scientists investigate hepatitis outbreak in children in Europe, US

Below is a summary of what is known about the outbreak.

WHAT’S HAPPENED?

More than 130 cases have been identified, with the majority in Britain, which has reported 108 cases since January.

Other countries including the United States, Israel, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain have also reported smaller numbers of cases.

WHY IS IT CAUSING CONCERN?

Mild paediatric hepatitis is not unheard of, but the cases first raised the alarm in Scotland, on April 6, because children were very sick. Several have even needed liver transplants.

The other concern was that the cases were not linked to the typical viruses usually linked to the condition – hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.

“This is still a very low number of cases, but they are children, that is the main concern, and the other thing is the severity,” said Maria Buti, a hepatology professor from Barcelona and chair of the European Association of the Study of the Liver’s public health committee, who has been following the outbreak closely with the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC).

WHAT IS CAUSING IT?

The leading theory is viral infection, probably with an adenovirus – a common family of viruses that can cause the common cold, among other conditions.

One kind of adenovirus commonly causes acute gastroenteritis, and there have been reports of it causing hepatitis in immunocompromised children, but never previously in healthy children.

Public Health Scotland’s director, Jim McMenamin, said work was underway to establish if the adenovirus involved had mutated to cause more severe disease, or if it could be causing the problems “in tandem” with another virus, including possibly SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

He said 77% of the children in Britain had tested positive for adenovirus.

It is also possible that a novel pathogen may be involved, or exposure to a toxin, but the geographic spread of cases suggested infection was a more likely explanation, scientists said.

Any link to COVID-19 vaccines has been ruled out, as the children in Britain, where the majority of cases have been found, were not vaccinated.

Other scientists said lowered immunity as a result of reduced social mixing during the pandemic could be an explanation.

“This may be an over-response to stimulation to the immune system that is not used to such insult … that’s a good theory,” said Simon Taylor-Robinson, a consultant hepatologist and professor of translational medicine at Imperial College London.

Others cautioned that the adenovirus infections could be coincidental, because they are widely circulating at this time of year. Investigations are going on.

WHAT ARE PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITIES ADVISING?

Public health alerts in the United States and Europe have asked doctors to be on the lookout for the condition, and to test children for adenovirus if they suspect hepatitis.

Symptoms include dark urine, yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice), sickness, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, light-coloured stools, joint pain.

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis but drugs like steroids can help, as well as medicines to treat the symptoms.

Parents are being told to watch out for symptoms and to contact a healthcare professional if they are concerned.

To prevent further spread, the British Health Security Agency urged handwashing and “good thorough respiratory hygiene”, such as catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue.

Experts said that the rise in case numbers had been relatively slow but cautioned that more cases were expected.

“If you pay attention to a thing, you see more of it,” said Buti.

(Reporting by Jennifer Rigby and Natalie Grover in London; Editing by Josephine Mason, Robert Birsel)


Source link

0 0 votes
Article Rating

 
S’abonner
Notifier de
0 Commentaires
Commentaires en ligne
Afficher tous les commentaires
Reset Password

Avertissement sur les risques :

Le trading peut vous exposer à des risques de pertes supérieures aux dépôts et ne convient qu’à une clientèle avisée ayant les moyens financiers de supporter un tel risque. Les CFD sont des instruments complexes et présentent un risque élevé de perte rapide en capital en raison de l’effet de levier. Entre 74 et 89% des comptes de clients de détail perdent de l’argent lors de la négociation de CFD. Vous devez vous assurer que vous comprenez comment les CFD fonctionnent et que vous pouvez vous permettre de prendre le risque élevé de perdre votre argent. Ce site n’est en aucun cas une offre de conseil en investissement ni une incitation quelconque à acheter ou vendre des instruments financiers. Trader le Forex et/ou les CFD’s implique un niveau de risque élevé, et peut ne pas être approprié car vous pouvez subir des pertes supérieures à votre dépôt. L’effet de levier peut être en votre défaveur.

Vous devez être conscient et avoir une compréhension complète de tous les risques associés au marché et au trading. Le site Union-trader.com peut être amené à produire des commentaires d’ordre général, ce qui ne constitue pas des conseils en investissement et ne doit pas être interprété comme tel.

Veuillez recourir aux conseils d’un conseiller financier extérieur. Le site Union-trader.com décline toute responsabilité pour les erreurs, inexactitudes ou omissions et ne garantit pas l’exactitude ou le caractère complet des informations, textes, graphiques, liens ou autres éléments contenus dans cette documentation. Toute information et toute mise à disposition sur le site ont un caractère privé.