Acute hepatitis


Acute hepatitis

Lately, the cases of acute hepatitis from unknown causes have significantly increased, mainly among children, being reported about 200 illnesses in 14 countries worldwide. This alerted the medical doctors, but it caused anxiety as well among the population. Even though, to get rid of this anxiety, and also to stay informed, it is important to know as much information as possible about this disease we might face with. The feeling of concern can be also fought by having private health insurance, which can provide you with the necessary coverage, even in the event acute hepatitis occurs. If you don’t have yet information about this disease, the MediHelp experts come to help you with the most useful things you should know about acute hepatitis.


What is acute hepatitis?


Acute hepatitis is a term used to describe a variety of diseases characterised by the acute swelling of the liver parenchyma or injuries of the hepatocytes, resulting in increasing the liver function indices. Generally, the hepatitis is classified as being acute or chronic based on the time, but on the severity of the swelling as well. In the case of acute hepatitis, the period of the swelling or hepatocellular injury lasts less than six months and it is characterised by normalising the liver function tests. It was noticed that this new form of severe acute hepatitis appears mostly in children younger than 10 years.


Causes of the acute hepatitis


There are several causes for the appearance of acute hepatitis, they are divided into two categories: infectious and non-infectious. Even though, the most common cause for the appearance of acute hepatitis is due to virus infection, such as the one with one of the five major viruses: hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, hepatitis D virus, and hepatitis E virus. In addition to this, hepatitis can also be caused by a great variety of non-infectious causes, such as drugs, alcohol, and immunologic factors or as a result of the urinary tract dysfunction, liver dysfunction caused by pregnancy, shock, or metastatic disease. Even if these are the most common causes of the appearance of acute hepatitis, an adenovirus might be the cause as well. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it might be an adenovirus that caused the appearance of the mysterious causes of severe acute hepatitis in very young children. Although, the appearance causes are not fully known.


Usually, adenoviruses can be the cause of severe acute hepatitis, but only when the individuals’ immunity is very low. CDC also confirms the fact that in the case of mysterious hepatitis developed by children, it is not about the infection with the Covid-19 virus or the hepatitis A, B, or C viruses.


How can we recognise acute hepatitis?


Acute hepatitis can be like a minor disease or can get to the point of lethal liver failure. The symptoms severity and fast recovery significantly vary depending on the specific virus, but also on the response of the person to the infection. Hepatitis that comes from the A or C virus usually causes very light symptoms that can be even unnoticeable, but B, D, or E hepatitis are more likely to cause severe symptoms. The symptoms can suddenly start including a low appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, joint pains, or rash. Sometimes, jaundice can be developed as a cause of the fact that the liver cannot eliminate the bilirubin from the blood, as it normally does. Even if these are the general causes, in the mysterious cases of severe acute hepatitis in children, symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or even breathing difficulties were noticed. Also, some of them needed even a liver transplant. 

Treatment and prevention


For most people with virus acute hepatitis, it is not necessary a special treatment, but the people who develop severe forms might need hospitalisation to be under the supervision of specialists. Even though the acute hepatitis treatments are only partially efficient, that is why its prevention is very important. There are vaccines, but only for certain types of hepatitis, so, it would be recommended to take into account more general preventions, such as frequently washing your hands, particularly before eating food, keeping certain objects for personal use, such as toothbrushes, razor blades or injections, without sharing them with other people. Of course, in order to be covered, we recommend you opt for private medicalinsurance, to save you if an unpredictable situation might occur.


Also, for the mysterious cases of severe acute hepatitis that appeared in children, a prevention way might be to try some methods that increase immunity, such as a vitamin-rich diet, not isolating the children, reintroducing them into their normal activities respectively, together with other children of their age. So, their immune system would have the chance to be more prepared against several challenges that might occur.


Acute hepatitis is a disease that can affect each of us, regardless of age, that is why prevention is extremely important. Even though, sometimes, we can notice that mysterious cases can appear that can be difficult even for specialists, that is why we need to stay informed, but also covered in order to minimise the potential effects of its appearance. To this end, private health insurance can be very helpful, and if you don’t know which is suitable for you, you can ask anytime the MediHelp specialists who can guide you whenever you need it.




Source: National Library of Medicine