Mysterious hepatitis in children: what if it was a side effect of the lockdown? The hypothesis of scientists

According to initial research, the wave of hepatitis that is affecting children under 10 could have a link with the lockdown and Covid-19. Indeed, doctors believe that the restricted social mixing during the pandemic has weakened the immune systems of the little ones.

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The emergency Covid and the lockdown could in part explain the mysterious spate of cases hepatitis among children.

Around 108 children under 10 have been suffering from inflammatory liver disease in Britain since January. Eight needed a liver transplant.

Cases of this type have also subsequently occurred in other countries, such as Scotland, Denmark, Ireland and Spain.

Scientists are still not sure about the causes that can trigger this type of hepatitis, but according to WHO, Adenovirus, which is a family of common viruses that usually cause mild colds, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The reason? About 77% of cases in Britain also tested positive for adenovirus. Consequently, it would be a type of viral hepatitis.

Furthermore, according to experts, the endless lockdown cycle due to Covid may have played a decisive role, weakening the immune system of children and leaving them at greater risk of adenovirus.

These, in fact, are transmitted from person to person, touching contaminated surfaces, as well as through the respiratory tract.

Writing in Eurosurveillance magazine, the team, led by Public Health Scotland epidemiologist Dr Kimberly Marsh, said children may be "immunologically weak" against the virus.

Mysterious hepatitis, what we really know about the virus that affects children and is frightening half of Europe

Hence, the development of this new infection could be the result of one restricted social intermingling during the pandemic. Other scientists, however, have argued that it may have been a virus that acquired unusual mutations.

Hepatitis often does not have symptoms obvious, but signs may include dark urine, pale gray stools, itchy skin, and yellowing of the eyes and skin.

Infected people may also suffer from muscle and joint pain, high fever, and be unusually tired.

When hepatitis is transmitted by a virus, it is usually caused by consuming food and drink contaminated with an infected person's stool or by blood-to-blood contact or unprotected sex with an infected person.

The theory of adenoviruses is the most accredited, although experts are still working to understand what the certain cause of this rare form of hepatitis may be.

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Photos: Eurosurveillance

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