In the last weeks has been known of hundreds of cases of hepatitis in children from more than 20 countries. Two serious studies on the subject, based on scientific evidence, were published and we will summarize them.
First, none of the publications relate the cases of childhood hepatitis to vaccines against COVID-19. This is because, as often happens in inexplicable situations, the anti-vaccines They take the opportunity to sow doubt and spread false news on social media.
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This matter of childhood hepatitis is no exception: social media is spreading fake news linking vaccines to hepatitis. This is false, because the vast majority of affected children are under 5 years of age, a group without approved vaccines to receive.
The hepatitis –from the Greek ‘hepatos’, liver, and ‘itis’, inflammation– constitute a large group of diseases caused by various elements, ranging from infectious agents to poisoning by substances or medicines, and which can affect people of any age.
The most common are viral, caused by the HAV (hepatitis A), HBV (hepatitis B) and HCV (hepatitis C) viruses, and there are also D and E. Other causes include some other viruses and drug poisoning, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol.
The most frequent symptoms of childhood hepatitis they are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, and yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin.
“The main hypothesis implies an adenovirus as the cause of this childhood hepatitis, although it is too early to draw conclusions.”
the british study
The report published on May 6 by the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is, to date, the most comprehensive on the subject. It describes the first 163 cases in children under the age of 16 in the UK as of May 3. That agency considers a confirmed case to be a child under 10 years of age who, since January 1, 2022, presented with a liver enzyme test greater than 500 IU/L, and who has been ruled out. viral hepatitis or other known causes. The probable case includes children under 15 years of age.
As of May 3, 163 confirmed and possible cases have been identified in the UK, of which none have died.. Eleven cases diagnosed between January 21 and May 3, 2022 required a liver transplant to save their lives.
After conducting elaborate interviews with the children’s parents, data from the first 60 patients in England showed no common exposures related to travel, family structure, parental occupation, diet, water source, or potential toxic exposures. There was also no association with previous immunosuppression. In addition, a relatively high number of families with dogs was found (64 of 92 or 70%). Being common in the UK, this data is under review.
Three out of four affected children reported the consumption of paracetamol, some of ibuprofen and none of aspirin. Only 14 of 100 cases had evidence of infection by SARS-CoV-2and five of them had the BA.2 variant.
Lastly, with regard to vaccination against COVID-19the report says that none of the children under 5 years of age (75% of the cases) were vaccinated, and less than five, in cases over 5 years of age, received the vaccine before the onset of hepatitis. The agency concludes that there is no evidence of a link between vaccination against COVID-19 and childhood hepatitis.
The most commonly detected pathogenic agent was a virus of the adenovirus family, and it was found in 91 of 126 cases examined (72%). Of the 33 typed adenoviruses, 18 (55%) were of type F41. Adenoviruses usually cause respiratory infections, and very rarely hepatitis in immunocompromised children.
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In a publication of the weekly report of morbidity and mortality (MMWR) of May 6, the US CDC describes the first nine cases found in Alabama, between October 2021 and February 2022. The average age was almost 3 years, with a range between 1 and 5 years. In all cases, adenovirus 41 was detected. Regarding the COVID-19none of the children had had the disease and, due to their age, they did not receive the vaccine either.
According to the WHO, Until the 7th of May 228 probable cases have been reported in 20 countries (eight in Argentina), of which 18 have received a liver transplant and one has died. As of May 6, the US is investigating 109 probable cases.
The Peruvian Ministry of Health launched a epidemiological alertwith the intention that health professionals are attentive to cases that may arise.
So far, the main hypothesis implicates an adenovirus as the cause of the cases of childhood hepatitis, although it is too early to draw conclusions. The potential role of infection by the SARS-CoV-2 What predisposing element to develop hepatitis, and the role of some toxicological component.
What is very clear is that vaccines against COVID-19 They are not involved in the cases. If someone suggests that to you, deny it immediately.