Rare cases of hepatitis in children causes concerns throughout Tri-State

Rare cases of hepatitis in children causes concerns throughout Tri-State

A recent warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about severe cases of unexplained hepatitis in children has parents wondering how severe this can get. Doctors, worldwide, are investigating what is behind these mysterious cases. At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the spotlight is on, as seven of the more than 100 cases are currently being treated there. Some children needed liver transplants and at least five have died according to the CDC.”I think the main message that we are trying to figure out is what is this what’s causing this in the apparent increase in the number of cases,” said Dr. William Balistreri, founder of the Pediatric Liver Care Center at Cincinnati Children’s. “What’s new is that there seems to be an apparent spade of cases and so what we are trying to do is to collect data going back historically, you know, what did we see five years ago compared to what we are seeing now.”Balistreri stresses cases like this are not the first of their kind to Children’s. At first, seeing cases like this only once every couple years to now seeing reports of similar cases within months.”The pediatricians and primary care doctors, family medicine doctors are taking that extra step and they are actually measuring liver enzymes,” he said. The measuring of enzymes led to a series of elevated counts of enzymes and no explanation for the hepatitis. Those two factors together now link these cases together. When asked if the cause of the virus may be linked to COVID-19, Balistreri said his research suggests it is. Children’s immune systems may have been weakened due to isolation from the pandemic.”It may be a new virus although I doubt that. It may be a new manifestation of an old virus like adenovirus or it may be a synergy of a virus with say Covid or a virus that’s been around. But I think it’s more likely a new awareness. To be clear we are calling these like the World Health Organization, probable cases, there’s no hallmark,” Balistreri said, as there is no exact reason as to why this is occurring. His message to all parents is to remain calm and continue to parent as normal. If your child is showing symptoms like any viral infection, keep them hydrated and consult your primary physician. If you start to see symptoms that involve yellowing of the eyes and dark urine, go see a physician immediately.

A recent warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about severe cases of unexplained hepatitis in children has parents wondering how severe this can get. Doctors, worldwide, are investigating what is behind these mysterious cases. At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the spotlight is on, as seven of the more than 100 cases are currently being treated there.

Some children needed liver transplants and at least five have died according to the CDC.

“I think the main message that we are trying to figure out is what is this what’s causing this in the apparent increase in the number of cases,” said Dr. William Balistreri, founder of the Pediatric Liver Care Center at Cincinnati Children’s. “What’s new is that there seems to be an apparent spade of cases and so what we are trying to do is to collect data going back historically, you know, what did we see five years ago compared to what we are seeing now.”

Balistreri stresses cases like this are not the first of their kind to Children’s. At first, seeing cases like this only once every couple years to now seeing reports of similar cases within months.

“The pediatricians and primary care doctors, family medicine doctors are taking that extra step and they are actually measuring liver enzymes,” he said.

The measuring of enzymes led to a series of elevated counts of enzymes and no explanation for the hepatitis. Those two factors together now link these cases together.

When asked if the cause of the virus may be linked to COVID-19, Balistreri said his research suggests it is. Children’s immune systems may have been weakened due to isolation from the pandemic.

“It may be a new virus although I doubt that. It may be a new manifestation of an old virus like adenovirus or it may be a synergy of a virus with say Covid or a virus that’s been around. But I think it’s more likely a new awareness. To be clear we are calling these like the World Health Organization, probable cases, there’s no hallmark,” Balistreri said, as there is no exact reason as to why this is occurring.

His message to all parents is to remain calm and continue to parent as normal. If your child is showing symptoms like any viral infection, keep them hydrated and consult your primary physician. If you start to see symptoms that involve yellowing of the eyes and dark urine, go see a physician immediately.

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