COVID-19 Infection Found in Some Child Acute Hepatitis Cases

18 May 2022 13:47 WIB

Illustration a sick child. Credit: halodoc

TEMPO.CO, JakartaGlobal cases of acute hepatitis among children amounted to around 450 with eleven of them dead. Indonesia has by far detected 18 cases but only one case is considered probable and the rest are pending classification.

“Some cases were found to be positive for COVID-19,” said Muzal Kadim, Head of the Gastro-Hepatology Coordination Unit of the Indonesian Pediatrician Association, on Tuesday night, May 17, 2022.

However, whether or not COVID-19 is the cause is still being researched. Among children, Muzal said, none of them experienced long COVID-19 symptoms. “So even if it is related, it is suspected that the Covid infection weakens the immune system and so facilitates infection of other viruses such as adenovirus,” he explained.

In Indonesia, this unknown acute hepatitis case is detected in children aged between two months and 16 years. “Most of them have not been vaccinated against COVID-19,” Muzal added. The symptoms are similar to that of hepatitis A which can get worse more quickly.

According to Muzal, acute hepatitis in children and adults has long been a health problem in Indonesia caused by hepatitis A, B, and C. The disease is triggered by poor hygiene and sanitation, as well as poor healthy lifestyle. Based on the Health Ministry data, there are always extraordinary events (KLB) of hepatitis A in a number of provinces every year.

Additionally, Indonesia is a country with a high prevalence of hepatitis B and C at 7.1 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Indonesia is also classified as a moderate-to-high endemicity country of hepatitis B.


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ANWAR SISWADI (CONTRIBUTOR)

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