China has not reported any cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin in children as of yet, but health authorities and medical institutions are closely monitoring the disease after similar cases in the United States and other nations were recently identified, the National Health Commission said over the weekend.
The experience gained from fighting the COVID-19 epidemic and increased public health awareness among Chinese people have been conducive in helping mitigate the new disease, the commission said in a release on Saturday.
The disease has occurred in children aged 1 month to 16 years-mostly under 10-who have shown symptoms including jaundice, nausea, abdominal pain and fatigue, according to the commission. In most cases, the children do not register high temperatures.
Parents should pay extra attention if their children show such symptoms and take them to hospitals for further examination, the commission said.
There are many causes of the disease, and it is transmitted mainly through the digestive tract and blood. Some of the cases reported abroad had a confirmed adenovirus infection, it said.
The main preventive measures are refraining from taking children to crowded and poorly ventilated public places, ensuring sufficient sleep and nutrition, maintaining social distance, and making sure clothing and objects that children frequently touch are kept clean, the commission said.
According to recent studies by the World Health Organization, there has been no proof to support the hypothesis that acute hepatitis is associated with receiving COVID-19 vaccines, as most of the children diagnosed with the disease have not been vaccinated for COVID-19.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating more than 100 cases of severe hepatitis in children, including five deaths, found in 25 US states and territories, Xinhua News Agency reported.
More than 90 percent of the children were hospitalized, and 14 percent required liver transplants. The causes of the cases are still not clear, the report said.
On May 1, the WHO said that at least 228 cases of hepatitis of unknown origin in children have been reported in 20 countries, and dozens more were under investigation, according to the report.