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Argentina records a mysterious hepatitis infection

News Department/Employee NewspaperSunday, May 8, 2022 18:47 GMT+7

A pediatric patient admitted to the Children’s Hospital in the city of Rosario, more than 300 km north of Buenos Aires, was diagnosed with “… acute hepatitis severe unexplained” last 5/5.

On May 6, the Argentine Ministry of Health also recorded at least 8 suspected cases of this disease and is being monitored.

Sick mysterious hepatitis have symptoms of jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and in some severe cases a liver transplant.

The disease has killed four children, out of a total of 228 cases reported as of May 1, according to World Health Organization statistics.

US health officials on May 6 said they were investigating 109 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown cause in children, including 5 deaths.

According to Jay Butler, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cases above was recorded in 24 states and one territory in the past 7 months. In which, 90% of cases require hospitalization, with 14% needing liver transplant surgery.

Most patients recover completely. In addition, Mr. Butler said, more than 50% of cases tested positive for adenovirus 41, a virus commonly associated with stomach ulcers.

Argentina recorded a mysterious hepatitis infection - Photo 1.

(Photo: The West Australian)

Scientists in the US and around the world are still trying to determine the cause of the disease. Mr. Butler said that adenovirus is currently at the top of the list of viruses of concern due to the above link.

Another scenario is that the adenovirus could have evolved into a new and more dangerous strain. Environmental factors are also considered, like the presence of animals in the home. Scientists are also investigating whether other pathogens, such as COVID-19, may play a role.

Notably, Indonesia this week announced 3 deaths from this disease.

Meanwhile, on May 6, the UK said the country had 163 cases, most of them children under 5 years old and no patient died yet. On May 5, Panama recorded its first case.

WHO predicts that the number of cases may increase before scientists find out the cause. However, WHO scientists do not believe that adenovirus alone is enough to cause the above severe hepatitis. The WHO also said that the majority of children with this disease do not receive a vaccine against COVID-19.

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