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Mysterious Hepatitis - Don’t Miss These 3 Symptoms

Mysterious Hepatitis: Don’t Miss These 3 Symptoms!

Here is a thing about hepatitis: this disease is a silent killer. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO), revealed that almost 95% of patients with hepatitis were not aware they even had the disease until they either recover from it or get hospitalized.

As if the fact that you may not even know if you already have hepatitis is not scary enough, what if we tell you that there is an outbreak of mysterious hepatitis occurring around the world that we do not know the cause of?

On 5 April 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed that 10 children below the age of 10 years in Scotland were diagnosed with acute hepatitis cases. A mere three days later, that number jumped to a worrying 74 cases in the UK alone. In Indonesia itself, 14 cases of such mysterious hepatitis were reported by the news agency Liputan6 in early May 2022 – and 4 out of those 14 cases have died.

In nearly two months since the disease was first discovered, more than 650 similar mysterious hepatitis cases were identified affecting children from over 30 countries as reported by WHO on 26 May 2022.

So, what kind of hepatitis is this mysterious hepatitis? What makes it so mysterious or dangerous?

Hepatitis: Learn the Difference 

First of all, hepatitis is not a single disease. Rather, it is a type of liver disease that results in the inflammation of the liver due to a variety of causes. To understand this, we need to understand the difference between two kinds of hepatitis: non-viral and viral.

Non-viral hepatitis is a type of hepatitis that occurs due to non-virus causes, such as too much alcohol consumption, and the use of certain toxic substances, and it could even be triggered by genetic or environment-related medical conditions.

In contrast, viral hepatitis, or hepatitis that is caused by viruses, is the most common type of hepatitis cases. Much like non-viral hepatitis, there are many kinds of viral hepatitis because there is more than one kind of virus that could cause hepatitis. In fact, there are 5 kinds of hepatitis, which are: viral hepatitis A, viral hepatitis B, viral hepatitis C, viral hepatitis D, and viral hepatitis E.

On another note, each of these hepatitis is caused by their corresponding viruses or non-virus causes and has its own means of transmission and severity.

Patients of alcoholic hepatitis as well as viral hepatitis A, C, and E may suffer acute short-term infections curable through taking adequate rest and consuming proper nutrition or hydration. In comparison, patients of certain autoimmune hepatitis or viral hepatitis B and D may suffer chronic liver infection or damage for the long term with no cure.

It is important to know that while most hepatitis is treatable – if not curable – hepatitis could still lead to life-impairing damages or even fatal outcomes, like scarring (fibrosis), liver failure, and liver cancer, unless patients seek proper medical attention as soon as possible.

However, this begs the question: how is this ‘mysterious hepatitis’ differ from all these hepatitis types we have mentioned?

Mysterious Hepatitis: What We Know So Far

So, what is the cause of these mysterious hepatitis cases? To put it bluntly, we do not know. All patients have tested negative for every viral hepatitis and non-viral hepatitis we know of. Even worse is the fact that this disease has led to the deaths of nearly a dozen children suffering from this same disease.

This is exactly why the disease – which is currently called acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology (causes) – is being actively investigated by global health institutions like CDC and WHO, and more information is being shared and updated as the investigation of this disease is ongoing.

So far, we know that the disease has infected children aging between 1 month to 16 years old. About 10% of these cases have required liver transplantation, suggesting that the disease might be incredibly damaging to the liver once infected.

Although, do not fall under the wrong assumption that this disease only infects children and cannot infect older patients. The reason is that there has been at least 1 case in Indonesia where the person confirmed to have this mysterious hepatitis is, in fact, an adult aged 21 years old.

In any case, another curious point that WHO has reported about the disease is that numerous patients of this mysterious hepatitis have tested positive for either adenovirus (74 cases), COVID-19 (20 cases), or both (19 cases).

However, does that mean we can blame adenovirus or COVID-19 virus for this mysterious hepatitis? According to South China Morning Post reports, scientists are not sure yet – most of them do not find any strong evidence that either virus is linked to this disease.

With so many uncertainties revolving around this mysterious hepatitis, is there any way for us to tell if we or our children might have caught this disease? Fortunately for you, Prime Plus Medical is here to give you the answer.

3 Simple Ways to Tell If You Caught the Mysterious Hepatitis

While most symptoms are rather similar to hepatitis in general, here are the three most common symptoms that may appear if one is suspected to catch this mysterious hepatitis:

  1. Neurological symptoms
    One aspect that mysterious hepatitis patients share the most is that they show neurological symptoms seizures/spasms, loss of consciousness, and fatigue.One explanation of how hepatitis might cause neurological symptoms is made by Dr. Mark G. Swain from the University of Calgary, Canada, who suggests that it might be caused by disruptions in the connection of the diseased liver to the brain.
  2. Gastrointestinal symptoms
    Another set of symptoms that appear are those related to the digestive system, such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.As an important organ for our digestion, a damaged liver due to hepatitis, mysteriously caused or not, is inevitable.This is because the liver provides substances for the small intestine to process the nutrients that we absorbed from the food we consumed. Another role that our liver plays is that it cleans your body from toxic substances in the things we consumed as well as waste products that our body produces daily.

    With the liver being infected by hepatitis, it would severely hamper our body’s capacity to process food and clean toxins. Thus, this imbalance would then result in all the aforementioned symptoms.

  3. Jaundice
    Last, but not least, the clearest dead giveaway of all cases of hepatitis, is jaundice.Jaundice is a symptom that signified substantial damage has occurred in the liver, observable through the yellowing of the skin and eye. In the case of mysterious hepatitis, this is often coupled with cold- or flu-like symptoms.Jaundice occurs when too much bilirubin is present in a person’s red blood cells. Usually, this yellow-orange substance is filtered out by our liver when red blood cells die, but this substance could build up over time in our body due to the damages sustained by the liver – causing our skin to look yellow.

Conclusion: Seek Medical Attention As Soon As Possible

People often mistook signs of hepatitis as a common disease and for that reason, hepatitis could become a dangerous silent killer.

While many acute hepatitis cases are usually short-term in nature and could be cured simply by letting the body naturally fight it off, some hepatitis cases could be so damaging that it causes chronic problems in the long term and could even lead to death, if not properly treated in time.

This situation has worsened over the past two months with the appearance of mysterious hepatitis with an unknown cause that has struck many children, and even adults, across the globe. As of today, more than 600 cases of such cases have been reported and more than a dozen lives have been claimed by this disease.

However, it is never too late to get help while you still can, and identifying the aforementioned three symptoms of potential mysterious hepatitis cases is very important lest it claims the lives of more people – especially our loved ones.

If you see any of these symptoms, especially signs of jaundice, you should contact the nearest medical services around you immediately.

Prime Plus Medical is the best quality clinic serving patients within the regency of Badung, especially those in the neighboring communities of our facility, in the areas of Canggu, Seminyak, Petitenget, Kerobokan, and beyond.

Whether it is a request for emergency treatment or using our on-call doctor service, Prime Plus Medical is always ready to give you and your loved ones the best health solutions 24/7. Do not hesitate to contact us at +(62)36-1474-0055 or email us at [email protected]

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