First Case of Child With Mysterious Hepatitis Detected in S’pore

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Singapore doesn’t just have COVID-19 and Dengue to worry about in 2022.

There’s also an outbreak of “mysterious hepatitis” taking place all around the world in children.

On 5 Apr, the World Health Organisation (WHO) was informed of 10 such cases. Three days later, 74 such cases were reported in Britain.

And now, Singapore has its first case of mysterious hepatitis.

First Case of Child With Mysterious Hepatitis Detected in S’pore

On 25 Apr 2022, a 10-month-old infant was brought to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital Emergency Department for acute hepatitis (liver inflammation).

He was then admitted for further investigations.

On 29 Apr (Friday), Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) were alerted to the case.

It was found out that while the infant had contracted COVID-19 in December last year, there is no evidence “at this time” that the infant’s acute hepatitis is related to the virus.

Investigations Ongoing

On 30 Apr 2022, MOH said that investigations are ongoing to check if the infant’s acute hepatitis has a similar presentation to the acute hepatitis of mysterious origins that the WHO is reporting on.

 “Laboratory testing has determined the case to be negative for the common viruses that cause hepatitis.”

Medical practitioners in Singapore are urged to keep a lookout for children with signs and symptoms of hepatitis with an unexplained cause.

What Can Cause Hepatitis?

According to MOH, the common causes of hepatitis are:

  • viral infections
  • alcohol use
  • toxins
  • medications
  • certain medical conditions

For the recent outbreak of mysterious hepatitis, initial investigations showed that it could’ve been caused linked to the adenovirus infection.

The adenovirus is a common virus which can cause respiratory or gastrointestinal illness; however, it wasn’t known to cause acute hepatitis in healthy children.

Precautions

One way parents and guardians can cope with the situation is to keep an eye out for signs of acute hepatitis in their children and seek help as soon as possible.

Symptoms include:

  • dark urine
  • pale, grey coloured faeces
  • yellowing of the white part of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
  • itchy skin
  • muscle or joint pain
  • fever
  • nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain
  • lethargy or loss of appetite

It was added that normal hygiene practices can also help reduce the risk:


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“Normal hygiene measures such as hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene help to reduce spread of many common infections, including adenovirus infection.”

Children who are unwell should stay home from school:

“Children who are unwell are advised to stay home from school until symptoms have stopped or assessed to be fit to return to school.”

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Feature Featured Image: Mcimage / Shutterstock.com


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