BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – News 4 has heard from Oishei Children’s Hospital how doctors treated a baby with a mysterious case of hepatitis – the first suspected case to be reported in the area.
The CDC is investigating 109 cases of childhood hepatitis, including five deaths, in 25 states and territories, but experts don’t know why children are getting sick.
Dr Osama Almadhoun, head of the gastroenterology and nutrition division of Oishei Children, who treated the boy, said the baby was in good health. After three days of treatment last month, the baby’s family was allowed to take him home.
The baby initially showed symptoms that no parent wanted to see – fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The baby was found to have hepatitis, which is inflammation of the liver.
“The reason for admission was acute viral gastroenteritis, or stomach bug and dehydration problem,” Almadhoun said, “It was only by doing blood tests that we realized that the infant’s liver enzymes were significantly elevated.”
Doctors hooked up the baby to an IV.
“There is no specific treatment for such hepatitis, other than supportive treatment, such as giving fluids for dehydration and monitoring and ensuring the child’s nutritional status is good,” Almadhoun said.
Many things can cause hepatitis, such as excessive alcohol consumption, certain medications, and infections, but recent cases of hepatitis in children across the country have no known cause.
“It’s really difficult and concerning – the only good news is that these cases are very rare,” Almadhoun said.
As for what parents can do, doctors say they should be on the lookout for certain symptoms like fever, fatigue and loss of appetite, and keep track of their child’s hygiene and vaccinations. children).
“They just need to continue to be vigilant about their children’s health, and if they are sick, it’s best to contact your health care provider,” said Dr. Thomas Russo of the Jacobs School of Medicine in Washington. ‘UB.
Oishei Children’s Hospital said the little boy’s family were quick to respond to the symptoms.
Something doctors have been able to rule out is that these hepatitis cases were not linked to COVID-19. So far, state health officials have not said how many cases they are investigating in the state.
The state health department would only release this statement:
The New York State Department of Health, in conjunction with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the CDC, investigated cases of pediatric hepatitis to determine if there are some that could be linked to the disease that has been reported in Europe and the United States.
New York State Department of Health
Of the children who have fallen ill, the CDC says more than half of the patients tested positive for the adenovirus, with more than 90% hospitalized and 14% having undergone liver transplants.
So far we have heard from several local county health departments that they have not had any suspected cases reported to them. These counties are Niagara, Chautauqua, Orleans and Genesee counties.
The CDC will discuss its investigation in more detail next week on a Zoom call.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning presenter and journalist who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.