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Has Covid-19 led to an increase in hepatitis cases in children? Here’s what a doctor says

That’s no secret Covid-19 can cause other health complications in both adults and children. Almost three years into the pandemic, doctors now have answers about health situations, especially for children.

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That brings us to the question of whether Covid can lead to an increase Hepatitis cases in children. according to dr Bhavini Shah, head of microbiology at Neuberg Supratech Reference Laboratories, said there was an increase acute hepatitis in children around the world, including India, lately.

“In early April 2022, health professionals from around the world observed an unexplained outbreak of acute hepatitis in children. India saw a type of hepatitis in 37 children two to six weeks after Covid-19 infection during a Delta variant outbreak.

dr Shah adds that acute hepatitis is liver inflammation measured by the level of an enzyme known as SGPT that is released at the time the liver is damaged.

“If the SGPT value is more than 10 times the normal upper limit, it is called hepatitis. Acute hepatitis can be caused by many reasons, but it’s usually caused by one of hepatitis A, B, C, D, or E infections,” she explains.

According to the doctor Immune system of children affected by Covid have developed abnormalities or become compromised to such an extent that the normally harmless “adenovirus” has become highly manifest. “The adenovirus usually causes upper respiratory symptoms such as the common cold, sore throat, fever and intestinal problems. This strain is usually associated with mild Gastrointestinal diseases in children,” She explains.

dr Shah adds that an additional complication in children is the “multisystem inflammatory disease‘ known around the world. “It’s also a type of immune response to previous Covid infection, which is usually seen three to four weeks after recovery. The majority of children recover with medical treatment.”

It must be understood that Covid “triggers the immune system” and whether you are symptomatic or not, have a mild or moderate side of the infection, you have some antigens that resemble the genetic character of the infection Covid19 virus sits in the gut, says the doctor.

“Over time, they deepen, gradually waking up immune cells long after the infection has cleared. If the immune system is activated and the antigen is sitting around in the gut after recovering from Covid, even a mild infection can be caused by the adenovirus or a recurrent infection with Covid-19 can trigger a strong immune response and the patient gets hepatitis,” says Dr. shah

What preventive measures are there?

According to the doctor, parents must prevent children from getting Covid-19 in the first place. “As far as we know of vaccinations in India, 70 percent of them had antibodies,” she says, adding that vaccination boosts immunity along with nutritious diet, sleep, and consumption of vitamin and mineral supplements.

“If a child is found to have had Covid-19 in the past, they should see a pediatrician for at least three months after recovery,” the doctor concludes.

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