KUALA LUMPUR – The Ministry of Health (MOH) has heightened its observation on the acute hepatitis infection at all health clinics and hospitals.
169 children in 12 countries have been infected by the acute hepatitis with unknown origin, said the Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the victims consisted of children aged one month to 16 years old.
United Kingdom reported the highest number of cases with 114 cases. Besides that, Spain, Israel, United States of America, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, France, Norway, Belgium and Romania are also affected by the acute hepatitis infection.
As of 21 April, one death was reported and 10 percent (17 case) of the 169 cases required liver transplantation.
According to WHO, 74 of the cases were positive of adenovirus and 20 cases were detected to be positive of SARS-CoV-2.
“Therefore, the MOH has increased its surveillance for acute hepatitis at all health clinics and hospitals by using the case definition agreed by clinical medical and public health specialists.
“The referral and case management protocols of the acute hepatitis with unknown origin is being developed,” he said.
Meanwhile, healthcare practitioners at the government and private health clinics are aske to refer the cases of children aged one month old to 18 years old to the hospitals if they show several symptoms for the management of case.
The symptoms include jaundice and other acute hepatitis symptoms such as the loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, lethargy or dark coloured urine.
Khairy said, at the moment, one Malaysian boy in Sabah aged 4 years and 11 months had those symptoms and was treated in March.
The child had jaundice, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
“The hepatic function of the boy deteriorated and a hepatic transplantation was conducted on 30 March at a hospital in the Klang Valley.
“The child was discharged on 21 April healthily,” he said.
According to Khairy, early investigation found that the boy had history of SARS-CoVV-2 infection.
Investigation is ongoing if the boy fulfilled the criteria of acute hepatitis with unknown origin.
Khairy also advised all parents and caretakers of the children who suffer from those symptoms to seek immediate treatment at healthcare facilities. -MalaysiaGazette