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Mysterious hepatitis appeared in Southeast Asia

Mysterious hepatitis is the concern of many countries around the world. Although many theories have been proposed, the cause of this hepatitis is still a “mystery” because scientists have not yet determined the exact cause of the disease.

In Vietnam, no cases of mysterious hepatitis have been recorded yet, but the risk of invasive disease is great, so prevention, increased surveillance, and early detection of cases are very urgent. The Ministry of Health has also asked leading institutes to strengthen surveillance of mysterious acute hepatitis in children.

According to BSCKII Nguyen Nguyen Huyen – Head of Medical Examination Department at Kim Chung Campus, Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases, a leading unit in infectious diseases, updated from the World Health Organization (WHO) said that there were 278 Mysterious hepatitis cases in over 20 countries in Europe, Southeast Asia, Western Pacific, 5 cases of children died from mysterious hepatitis. An estimated 10% of children with occult hepatitis require a liver transplant.

Following the direction of the Ministry of Health, in order to strengthen surveillance and early detection of acute hepatitis of unknown cause in children, during the examination at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases, doctors exploited For more information, try to detect early signs and symptoms of suspected hepatitis in children – especially children with signs of vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, children with hepatitis or no (based on liver enzyme tests) or the child has signs of yellow urine, yellow eyes, fulminant liver failure…

BS. Nguyen Nguyen Huyen said that although the exact cause of the mysterious hepatitis has not been determined, many suspect that this disease is caused by Adenovirus. This is not a new virus and in Vietnam there are many units that can test this virus. At the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases, there is also an accurate testing system, which has recognized test results in more than 130 countries, so Vietnam can completely determine whether a patient has Adenovirus or not.

“However, the mysterious hepatitis is not entirely certain that it is caused by the common Adenovirus, but it may be caused by a mutated strain, so it is difficult to ‘catch’ this virus based on conventional techniques. Therefore, we still need to wait for more information from experts around the world to find out what the mysterious hepatitis is caused by the virus, what agent, whether a mutation occurs or not… From there, there is a specific gene segment to test to find the exact cause of mysterious hepatitis.

Some other opinions say that Adenovirus is just another trigger factor leading to mysterious hepatitis, even there is a suspicion that it is related to SARS-CoV-2… but none of them have been. scientific evidence,” noted the infectious disease expert.

Controversy over the transmission route, will there be an outbreak on a large scale?

Also according to BS. Huyen, in the literature describing hepatitis viruses that are usually transmitted through the gastrointestinal tract or through blood, there has been no virus that causes respiratory hepatitis that causes obvious liver damage like hepatitis. secret.

“If there is damage to the liver, it is usually after causing damage to the respiratory tract leading to multi-organ failure and damage to other organs and then to liver damage. Respiratory viruses rarely cause illness. Mysterious hepatitis like now “- the expert said.

Based on the description of symptoms of mysterious hepatitis cases in the world, first, children have symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract first (children with abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea …), after a few days, they will be tired, loss of appetite, yellow eyes, jaundice, yellow urination and liver failure. None of the children had any fever.

Therefore, according to BS. Huyen, there is a high possibility that the mysterious hepatitis agent is transmitted through blood and gastrointestinal tract – especially pay attention to the gastrointestinal tract because the first manifestation of children is in the digestive tract.

How to prevent mysterious hepatitis

BS. Huyen recommends that if parents see that their child has abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea, they should take the child to a doctor to see if the child has liver damage, thereby taking timely treatment measures for the child. Parents absolutely do not arbitrarily treat children.

In case the child has symptoms of yellow urine, yellow eyes, the disease is quite late, very dangerous.

In the current context, people have experienced a rather long time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the awareness of disease prevention has been significantly improved and it is necessary to maintain this awareness and habit.

In addition, with mysterious hepatitis, it is necessary to pay attention to improving personal hygiene, regularly disinfecting hands, washing hands before eating and after going to the toilet.

Implement cooked eating and drinking, raise awareness of food safety and hygiene, use safe food…

WHO also recommends that countries continue to strengthen surveillance to detect, investigate and report more similar cases. Samples to be collected include whole blood, serum, urine, stool, and respiratory specimens, as well as liver biopsies (if available). Pending the true cause of the new outbreak of acute hepatitis in children is determined, universal precautions for adenovirus and other common infections are frequent hand washing and essential respiratory hygiene. is adhered to.

With the information currently available, WHO is not recommending any restrictions on travel and/or trade with the UK, nor any other country where acute hepatitis cases have been detected. .

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