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Mysterious Hepatitis Outbreak in Children Will Continue ‘Throughout the Summer’, Expert Warns

The outbreak of mysterious hepatitis in the United States will continue ‘throughout the summer’ and many cases have gone undiagnosed, a top virologist warned Friday, as the worldwide death toll reached 12 with five deaths in the United States. Joined.

Scientists are puzzled as to the cause, but leading theories suggest that a type of adenovirus spread by touching surfaces contaminated with feces is behind the illness.

Dr. Matthew Binnicker, director of clinical virology at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, told DailyMail.com that cases will continue to appear throughout the year as their transmission doesn’t “tend to be seasonal.”

He warned that schools and nurseries, where many children mingle, were the main centers of spread of the virus.

Dr. Binnicker also cautioned that many cases of hepatitis among children remain undiagnosed in the US because, in some cases, children have not felt bad enough for their parents to take them to a doctor or hospital.

Most children with the mysterious hepatitis in the US have tested positive for adenovirus, but it’s unclear whether the virus itself is causing the illness or the infection along with another factor, such as a previous diagnosis of covid.

Adenoviruses are relatively common among children, but until this year they were rarely associated with hepatitis. All common causes of the disease, hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses have been ruled out.

At least 12 children have died from the mysterious hepatitis worldwide, with five deaths also reported in Indonesia and one each in Ireland and Palestine.

More than 110 cases have been recorded in 26 states so far, with 15 children becoming so seriously ill that they needed a liver transplant.

Globally, 450 cases have been reported in 21 countries, mostly among children under 10 years of age. Most are in the UK (160), which was the first to detect the outbreak.

Mysterious Hepatitis Outbreak in Children Will Continue Throughout the Summer

1651594789 798 Mysterious outbreak of hepatitis in children has now been detected

Dr. Matthew Binnicker, a clinical virologist at the Mayo Clinic, warned that cases would continue to appear this year.

Dr. Matthew Binnicker, a clinical virologist at the Mayo Clinic, warned that cases would continue to appear this year.

Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, Dr Binnicker said: “I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying this outbreak has peaked.”

“I would say that cases will continue to emerge during the summer period because we will continue to see children in daycare centers where there is a higher transmission.

“This type of adenovirus that we don’t tend to think of as seasonal, we’re going to continue to see cases throughout the year.”

The adenovirus that most children with mystery hepatitis have tested positive for is scientifically called type 41.

This infects the gastric system, causing symptoms including diarrhea and vomiting.

It is spread by the fecal-oral route, or when someone touches a surface contaminated with feces and then touches their mouth.

Asked if many more cases would be detected in the US, Binnicker cautioned that many are likely still to be diagnosed because they are milder.

Q&A: What is the mysterious global hepatitis outbreak and what’s behind it?

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that is usually caused by a viral infection or liver damage from drinking alcohol.

Some cases resolve on their own, with no ongoing problems, but a fraction can be fatal, forcing patients to need liver transplants to survive.

What are the symptoms?

People who have hepatitis usually have fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, and joint pain.

They may also suffer from jaundice, when the skin and the whites of the eyes turn yellow.

Why do the experts care?

Hepatitis is usually rare in children, but experts have already detected more cases in the current outbreak than would normally be expected in a year.

The cases are of “unknown origin” and are also serious, according to the World Health Organization.

What are the main theories?


Experts say the cases may be linked to the adenovirus, commonly associated with colds, but further investigation is underway.

This, in combination with covid infections, could be causing the increase in cases.

Around three-quarters of British cases have tested positive for the virus.

weakened immunity

British experts tasked with investigating the onslaught of disease believe the endless cycle of lockdowns may have contributed.

The restrictions may have weakened children’s immunity due to reduced social mixing, leaving them at higher risk of contracting adenoviruses.

This means that even ‘normal’ adenovirus could be causing serious outcomes, because children are not responding as they did in the past.

adenovirus mutation

Other scientists said it may have been the adenovirus that acquired “unusual mutations.”

This would mean that it could be more transmissible or more able to circumvent the natural immunity of children.

New Covid variant

UKHSA officials included ‘a new SARS-CoV-2 variant’ in their working hypotheses.

Covid has caused liver inflammation in very rare cases during the pandemic, although these have been in all ages rather than isolated in children.

Environmental triggers

The CDC has noted that environmental triggers are still being investigated as possible causes of the illnesses.

These could include contamination or exposure to particular drugs or toxins.

“Hepatitis can occur on a sliding scale that gets a person hospitalized to the other end, where it’s much milder,” he said.

‘In [the mild] cases, it may not prompt parents to take their child for investigation or to hospital.

“Many of these children will experience symptoms of gastroenteritis such as vomiting, diarrhea and nausea, and some will also deal with upper respiratory illness such as a cough or sore throat that precedes hepatitis.

“Those who later develop hepatitis will see changes in skin color, so some develop symptoms of jaundice or yellowing of the skin… ranging from very, very noticeable changes to very, very subtle changes.

“The yellowish white of the eye is also very noticeable and sometimes very surprising to parents, but other times it is very subtle and may not be noticeable.”

He said that with about 90 percent of children who went to see a doctor hospitalized, it would mean there is only a “small percentage” who were not sick enough to go to doctors.

He added that it was still too much Too early to say whether the US would detect the most cases in the world, and it currently ranks second.

But he said that because the country has such a large population, he would suggest there are “a lot more here than in other countries.”

The UK, which is home to 67 million people, has recorded the most cases in the world so far with more than 160.

But the US, home to nearly five times as many people or 329 million, has recorded the second-highest case count at more than 110.

Both countries have detected more hepatitis than others due to stronger surveillance systems for the diseases.

He said cases of hepatitis that haven’t been diagnosed but have gotten better on their own shouldn’t worry parents, as they’re unlikely to have long-term effects.

But any parent who is worried about their child should get them checked out.

Binnicker directs the department of clinical virology at Mayo Clinic.

It has contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to offer assistance in testing patient samples for adenoviruses.

But at this time he said the offer had not been accepted, probably because there had only been a relatively small number of cases to date.

Yesterday Missouri updated its count of hepatitis cases reporting ten patients.

And North Carolina more than quadrupled its tally from two cases to nine.

Both states were previously known to have hepatitis cases, although they have now provided updated figures.

It’s unclear how many of these were already included in the CDC’s count of mystery hepatitis cases.

Most cases in the US were reported between October and March.

But this week Hawaii said it had a case that had been hospitalized for a few days in late April.

There are now confirmed or suspected cases in 26 states. These are: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

At least one case has also been reported in the territory of Puerto Rico.

The CDC has refused to reveal where the five US deaths occurred, citing “confidentiality issues.”

But at least one was in Wisconsin, where the Health Department confirmed last month that it was investigating a fatality related to the disease.

There have been around 350 cases of 'severe hepatitis of unknown origin' in children recorded in 21 countries since April

There have been around 350 cases of ‘severe hepatitis of unknown origin’ in children recorded in 21 countries since April

At a news conference last week, the CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases, Dr. Jay Butler, said most of the youngsters had “completely recovered” after the illness.

He said scientists were still investigating cases to establish a cause, but adenoviruses were “at the top of the list.”

Scientists are puzzled as to what is causing this unusual illness, but the leading theory is that it is caused by a group of viruses that normally cause the common cold.

Common viruses that cause hepatitis: hepatitis A, B, C, and E viruses; they have not been detected in any of the cases reported worldwide.

Scientists are investigating whether a mutated strain of adenovirus has evolved to become more severe, or whether a lack of social interaction during the pandemic weakened children’s immunity.

They have also not been able to rule out that it is an old Covid infection.

In a strange twist, health officials are also investigating whether exposure to a ‘pet dog’ could be the cause of the illness.

The UK has said it is investigating this as a cause after finding that more than half of hepatitis patients were exposed to canines or had them at home.

But experts have warned that this seems a bit “far-fetched” because dog ownership is so high in the UK.

Covid vaccines have been ruled out as a possible cause of the disease because the vast majority of sick children were not eligible for injections.

In new guidance this week, the CDC in the US has told doctors treating children with hepatitis to take liver samples for testing.

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