Coronavirus may be linked to cases of severe hepatitis in children, studies suggest

Meanwhile, according to a separate team of researchers’ report in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, there is a possibility that the affected children, many of whom are too young to be vaccinated, may have had mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 infections that went unnoticed.

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However, most of the children with acute hepatitis do not report a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. (Image Credit: Reuters)

In a recent study, scientists have revealed that there is a possibility that SARS-CoV-2 could be the reason for mysterious hepatitis in kids. According to the researchers, a chain of events possibly triggered by unrecognized infection with the COVID-19 Could be causing the mysterious cases of severe hepatitis reported in hundreds of young children around the world

A report posted on Saturday on medRxiv ahead of peer review highlighted that children with COVID-19 are at significantly increased risk for liver dysfunction afterward. However, most of the children with acute hepatitis do not report a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Instead, the majority have been found to be infected with an adenovirus called 41F, which is not known to attack the liver, as reported by the news agency Reuters.

Meanwhile, according to a separate team of researchers suggested in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, there is a possibility that the affected children, many of whom are too young to be vaccinated, may have had mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 infections that went unnoticed.

“We suggest that children with acute hepatitis be investigated for SARS-CoV-2 persistence in stool” and for other signals that the liver damage is happening, because the spike protein of the coronavirus is a “superantigen” that over-sensitizes the immune system, they said.

Another new study has pointed out that for hospitalized COVID-19 patients who are breathing on their own but with supplemental oxygen, lying face down might not help prevent them from eventually needing mechanical ventilation, according to a new study.

In the study, 400 patients were randomly assigned to usual care or to standard care plus intermittently lying on their stomachs, a position known to improve the course of illness in sedated patients on mechanical ventilators. The researchers found that over the next 30 days, 34.1 percent in the prone-positioning group and 40.5 percent in the usual-care group needed to be intubated and put on a ventilator, a difference that was not statistically significant. There might have been a reduction in the risk for intubation with prone positioning among some of the patients, researchers said on Monday in JAMA, but they could not confirm it statistically from their data. The average duration of prone positioning per day was roughly five hours, less than the target of eight to 10 hours per day.

“Long hours of awake prone positioning are challenging and highly influenced by patient comfort and preference. The most common reason for the interruption of prone positioning was a patient request, which might have been related to overall subjective improvement or related to discomfort from prone positioning,” the researchers said.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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