Severe Hepatitis of Unknown Origin Claims 3 Lives

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Ministry of Health stated that three child patients at the Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo Central National Hospital (RSCM) died of suspected mysterious hepatitis. There is still no information concerning the source of the mysterious severe hepatitis disease. The child patients had been treated in RSCM for two weeks since April 30, 2022.

    The three child patients were referral patients from hospitals in East Jakarta and West Jakarta. The Ministry of Health stated that it will conduct an investigation on the disease through complete examination of the virus.

    In an attempt to shed more light on the disease, the Jakarta Health Agency will conduct further epidemiology investigation. The Health Agency also reminded the people to remain calm and cautious.

    "Take preventive measures such as washing your hands, making sure that foods are cooked properly and clean, do not use other people's eating utensils, avoiding contact with infected people and continue to implement health protocols," said the Ministry of Health Spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

    Nadia however, did not provide detailed information concerning the age and address of the deceased patients. Nadia only provide information on a number of syptoms that can indicate that a child must be taken to a health facility.

    The symptoms include stomachache, vomitting and diarrhea, brown urine, pale excrement color, seizures, and becoming unconscious.

    International Incidents

    Meanwhile, since its first publication as Extraordinary Event by the World Health Organization (WHO) in mid-April 2022, the number of reports on the mysterious hepatitis disease continues to increase. Currently, as many as 170 cases have been reported in more than 12 countries.

    WHO first received the report on April 5, 2022, from the United Kingdom. The report cited 10 cases of Acute Hepatitis of Unknown aetiology in children between the age of 11-months to 5-years old.

    The reports were collected from cases recorded from January to March 2022 in Central Scotland. As many as 17 patients (10 percent) require heart transplantation and one patient was reported dead.

    The main cause of the disease remains unknown. Examination in the laboratory claimed that the disease was not caused by viruses that can cause hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.

    The detected adenovirus in 74 cases subjected to molecular tests, was identified as F type 41. Meanwhile, SARS-CoV-2 was identified in 20 of the total cases and a co-infection of the adenovirus and SARS-CoV-2 was identified in 19 cases.

    The adenovirus was also detected in nine cases reported in Alabama, United States, which is part of the total of 18 cases reported in the country.

    The cases in Alabama were recorded back in October 2021. In addition to adenovirus, six of the cases were claimed to contain infection of the Epstein-Barr virus, as cited from a report published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as reported by CNN.

    The remaining cases were claimed to contain a variety of viruses including enterovirus/rhinovirus, metapneumovirus, syncytial respiratory virus, and OC43 coronavirus. The child patients in Alabama were not infected with Covid-19.

    As an effect of the hepatitis disease, three child patients were declared to suffer from severe liver failure and two of the patients were subjected to liver transplantation. The CDC reported that all nine child patients are recovering.

    MARIA FRANSISCA LAHUR