The Ministry of Health announced last Wednesday that “a case of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin” was detected in Santa Fe, it is an eight-year-old boy who is still hospitalized in Rosario, with liver failure and awaiting treatment. a liver transplant. This case is added to that of the 4-year-old boy from Neuquén who was discharged yesterday after being hospitalized for a week.

With these two confirmed cases, our country joins the list of 230 countries with confirmed child patients with hepatitis of unknown origin. The WHO has been warning for several days about this pathology that already has to its credit the death of a pediatric patient.

How can it be prevented?

The first piece of advice is to pay attention to the following symptoms in children: diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and especially if there are signs of jaundice (the skin turns yellow due to the accumulation of bilirubin in the blood).

It is recommended to take basic hygiene measures, similar to those learned in the coronavirus pandemic, such as constant hand washing and covering coughs or sneezes.

How is it spread?

Although it has not yet been possible to establish the causes that are causing the infection of infants with acute hepatitis in the world, the most likely hypothesis is that they are infected by an infectious cause.

In the United States, the country’s health authorities believe that its origin is associated with a pathogen called adenovirus 41. Adenoviruses are banal and well-known viruses. They generally cause respiratory symptoms (bronchitis, pharyngitis), eye symptoms (conjunctivitis) or digestive problems (gastroenteritis).