The Ahmadi Religion of Peace & Light

Unusual Hepatitis Cases

April 27, 2022

1. Surge in unusual Hepatitis cases

There has been a surge in over 100 mysterious cases of hepatitis in children under the age
of 10 around the world, ringing alarm bells in the medical community. A child in the UK has now
unfortunately died of the same mystery cause as well. Some specialists have suggested chemical toxins, others with no clear
link yet are suggesting the dominant BA2 strain of COVID-19 may be a factor.
“Severe hepatitis in children is very rare and we don’t yet know what’s causing this highly
unusual rise in cases,” according to Conor Meehan, Microbiology department at Nottingham
Trent University. “The leading theory is that it’s some kind of viral infection, perhaps even
SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.”

2. Link to Adenovirus

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver and these cases are not attributed to the regular
A, B, C, D or E variety, after laboratory testing which has led to bewilderment amongst the
investigators. Adenovirus is common in many of the patients with symptoms ranging from flu
like fevers, gastrointestinal complaints, sore throat and diarrhoea. This virus is
super-common in children, but rarely leads to full blown hepatitis. “Adenovirus can cause
hepatitis,” Meehan said. There could be something else in common making the children
more susceptible to developing hepatitis that hasn’t been realised as of yet.
Adenovirus is not something we would want to be afflicted with, but like all viruses is part of
our natural ecosystem and milieu of life we are submerged in. According to the (WHO) 91 children in the US and Europe have reportedly become ill with
hepatitis of unknown aetiology since January. This includes nine children in Alabama, three
in Spain and at least 74 in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Of the children in England 19 of these has been declared COVID positive and more
shockingly, six of these children in the UK, with no other obvious medical conditions have
since undergone transplants of liver lobes. These were donated by their parents. This is
compelling proof that this syndrome is severe and acute as only in life threatening cases
would such action be taken. This is because any of these children would most likely now
need lifelong Immunosuppression therapy to prevent organ rejection.
The organisation said that due to the increase in cases reported paediatricians must keep
an eye out for children experiencing hepatitis, it expects the number of cases will rise in the
coming days.
In Israel, Prof Eyal Shteyer, Paediatric Liver Unit at Shaare Zedek, stated the children were
not of the same ethnicity or religious affiliation. “Ninety-nine percent of the children had
COVID,” said Shteyer, who treated the children with steroids and they recovered quickly.
“I think COVID did trigger the immune system to injure the liver in some cases, but other
viruses can do this as well,” he said.
Meehan confirmed that there have been suggestions that COVID could be behind these
cases of hepatitis in the UK, as SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in at least half of the
children here. “Isolated cases of hepatitis have been reported in COVID patients, but this is
even rarer than autoimmune hepatitis, and has mostly been observed in adults with severe
COVID,” Meehan cautioned in his response. “I would not rule it out, but I would not put most
of my money there,” he said.
Instead, he said, it could be a new symptom from the interaction between the two viruses –
adenovirus and COVID. Another possibility is that the hepatitis is being caused by a totally
different virus that hasn’t been detected yet.
Meehan is concerned that any new unusual healthcare scenarios could be as a result of
COVID, but that they must make a clear investigation to be sure. Likewise the WHO
confirmed both COVID-19 and/or adenovirus had been detected in several cases.
“The role of these viruses in the pathogenesis (mechanism by which disease develops) is
not yet clear,” WHO said.
The Alabama department of health revealed a strong link with adenovirus and liver
transplants to children with no previous health concerns. “To date, nine children less than 10
years old have been identified as positive for adenovirus and two have required liver
transplants,”
None of the children have been vaccinated against COVID-19, ruling out any tie to the
vaccine at the moment.
Hepatitis is a generic name for inflammation of the liver causes can range from viral,
autoimmune to genetic. What has raised the alarm “has been a dramatic increase in the last
four to six months in those children coming to the hospital with acute elevation of liver
enzymes and we did not find a proper diagnosis”.

3. Unusually severe cases in Children

He said in 70% of cases before now doctors were able to find a cause. Usually liver
enzymes in children only elevate to around 300 U/L or 400 U/L, but here levels were in the
1,000s. “That signals to us that there is severe injury to the liver,” he said.
One of the challenges of this is that the viruses only remain in the system for a limited time
and so parents do not even know that their children have had the viruses.
This becomes more difficult to ascertain when these viruses can be present with no obvious
symptoms and also after a few weeks are often no longer detectable.
Meehan said the next step will be to do novel virus testing, using genome sequencing to
look for a virus or bacteria in these children’s blood samples.
“This could hint at a new variant of a virus that we normally would not think causes hepatitis
and may have been inadvertently ruled out or even a new virus,” Meehan said.
Data sharing is also critical “As we see cases in Spain and the US it is about determining if
and how they may be connected,” he reported.
The general symptoms of hepatitis are dark urine, grey-coloured faeces and yellowing of the
skin and eyes, as well as fever. “I think if your child looks even a little yellow, I would go fast
to the hospital and do a blood test,” Meehan said.
Adenovirus and COVID-19 cases as we know are not easy to prevent, but the risks can be
mitigated by good hygiene, such as hand washing. It seems though until clear analysis has
been defined that COVID is a strong causal link to this outbreak.

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