Hepatitis horror as another child dies & US records nearly 200 cases

HEALTH officials have confirmed that another child has died from the mysterious hepatitis outbreak, bringing the national tally to six.

The latest fatality was confirmed by the director of infectious diseases, Dr Jay Butler, at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as cases of the illness continues to surge throughout the US.

According to the latest data, the US has recorded most deaths of any nation in the world with six others fatalities recorded in Indonesia, Ireland and Palestine respectively.

To date, a total of 180 hepatitis cases have also been detected across 35 states, requiring 15 liver transplants.

In Europe, cases has also reported in the likes of the United Kingdom, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands as warnings were issued by advisory boards last month.

Experts from respective health agencies are still unsure sure what’s causing the spike in cases.

However, it’s important to note there is no link to the coronavirus vaccine and the rise in hepatitis cases.

Most children to have tested for hepatitis have been under the age of five and therefore have not had the vaccine.

Doctors have all but ruled out theories suggesting a mutation in the virus may be causing the illness, or that it could be down to exposure to pet dogs.

The usual causes, hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E, have also all been ruled out.

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Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver, causing diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. 

Doctors across the country have now been advised to take liver samples from the sickest hepatitis cases.

Medics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said these should be taken, as well as stool, throat and blood samples to check for adenovirus.

Scientists have said the leading cause of the outbreak is likely to be the sub-type 41 of adenovirus.

Adenoviruses are spread through close contact, said experts. They can also lead to gastroenteritis and neurological diseases.

The 10 signs of hepatitis you need to know

  1. Dark urine
  2. Pale, grey-coloured poo
  3. Itchy skin
  4. Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
  5. Muscle and joint pain
  6. A high temperature
  7. Feeling and being sick
  8. Feeling unusually tired all the time
  9. Loss of appetite
  10. Tummy pain

Philippa Easterbrook, from the WHO's global hepatitis programme said last week, there's been some important progress with further investigations and some refinements of the working hypotheses.

"At present, the leading hypotheses remain those which involve adenovirus — with also still an important consideration about the role of Covid as well, either as a co-infection or a past infection," she added.

Testing over the last week revealed that around 70 per cent of the cases tested positive for adenovirus.

Cases also continue to be in children under two years old with infections dispersed across the country.

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The CDC says this particular virus can cause vomiting and diarrhea in children, even causing respiratory symptoms similar to the common cold.

Scientists say that outbreaks are more likely in highly populated states with cases expected to continue to crop up throughout the summer.

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