Several countries, including the United Kingdom, the U.S., France, Israel, and Italy, are reporting severe hepatitis in children with Covid-19.
As severe hepatitis of unknown origin is reported in young children in different parts of the world, physicians should be on the lookout for the condition when children present with diarrhea, rashes, or viral fever, said pediatrician Dr. Vipin Vashishtha.
Reports link incidents of severe hepatitis in young children to covid-19, even as the scientific community debates it, he said and urged the Union Health Ministry to develop guidelines on how to treat children with hepatitis, possibly related to covid-19. 19 Recently, physicians in Madhya Pradesh reported hepatitis in children with covid-19.
Increase in cases
In the past month, Vashishtha has seen about five children with colds, coughs, diarrhea, and high liver enzyme levels, he told BusinessLine. These children were between 6 and 14 months old and tested positive for Covid-19. While four of them improved with symptomatic treatment, one infant succumbed to the disease, he said.
Hepatitis is usually seen in children older than 2 years, he said, except if they are severe. But the babies showed high liver values like SGPT in the 1000s, when it should be around 40-50, said Vashishtha, former national coordinator of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Immunization. “Physicians should have a high index of suspicion as these types of reports are emerging from the rest of the world,” he said.
While researchers are still studying this recent development, Vashishtha said one explanation is that “children’s immune systems are more exuberant and the virus sends them into overdrive.” Parents of children under 10 should keep this in mind, he said and urged everyone to be aware of this possibility.
Several countries, including the U.K., the U.S., France, Israel and Italy, are reporting severe hepatitis in children with Covid-19. In the past, the World Health Organization has ruled out hepatitis linked to Covid-19 vaccines.