Minsap: Cuba without cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin

Cases have been studied at the IPK reference institute, but none have met the criteria of acute hepatitis of unknown origin, the minister assured. Photo: Irene Pérez/ Cubadebate.

“Hepatitis is not a health problem in Cuba today and cases have decreased to date by more than 77% compared to the previous year. No case has been detected in the country that meets the criteria of acute hepatitis of unknown origin”, the Minister of Public Health, José Angel Portal Miranda, reported this Friday in Parliament.

Reports of acute hepatitis of unknown origin have been increasing in the world since the beginning of April, when the World Health Organization received notification of the first cases, reported in children, and issued an epidemiological alert.

When appearing before the Health and Sports Commission of the National Assembly of People’s Power, Portal Miranda reported that The Ministry of Public Health has activated a surveillance system, a group of technicians and experts who have drawn up a control plan in the event of the appearance of cases in the country

“Concepts have been defined to approach this disease. We constantly study cases at the reference institute of the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK), which may be suspicious, but so far we have not had any cases diagnosed in Cuba”said the Minister of Public Health.

Why “of unknown origin”? In international studies, the causes have been sought to see if it is viral hepatitis A, B, C, D or E, which are known so far, but it is not any of them. Neither do toxic causes appear.

The Cuban minister explained that in the cases diagnosed at the international level, the isolation of the adenovirus has been achieved in 74 cases. SARS-CoV-2 has been diagnosed in 20 cases and a co-infection of SARS-CoV-2 with adenovirus has been confirmed in 19.

He specified that the symptoms described are gastrointestinal, as well as liver enzyme levels above 500 and jaundice, elements that distinguish this clinical picture.

Portal Miranda explained that The Cuban plan is constantly updated with the experience that is appearing at the international level.

“It is aimed at implementing intersectoral measures to prevent the spread of severe acute hepatitis of unknown cause if it enters the country, which include, in addition to systematic hygienic-epidemiological surveillance, guaranteeing medical insurance, training health professionals and other workers. and students about the disease and the consultation to follow, and design research that can support control measures,” he added.

According to data provided by the MINSAP, taken from the WHO, Until this Friday, the number of cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin reported in the world amounts to 450 in 27 countries (106 cases in continental Europe, 163 in the UK and 181 in other countries), and 11 the number of deceased.

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