“It’s certainly challenging and worrying”: Oishei doctor treats baby boy with mysterious hepatitis condition

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – News 4 learned from Oishei Children’s Hospital about how doctors treated a baby with a mysterious case of hepatitis – the first suspected case reported in the area.

The CDC is investigating 109 cases of childhood hepatitis, including five deaths, in 25 states and territories, but experts aren’t sure why children get sick.

dr. Osama Almadhoun, chief of Oishei Children’s gastroenterology and nutrition department, who treated the boy, said the baby is in good health. After three days of treatment last month, the baby’s family was allowed to take him home.

The baby initially had symptoms that no parent wants to see: fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.

It was discovered that the baby had hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver.

“The reason for admission was acute viral gastroenteritis, or stomach virus, and concern about dehydration,” Almadhoun said. “Only by doing blood tests did we realize that the baby’s liver enzymes were significantly elevated.”

Doctors have the baby hooked up to an IV.

“There is no specific treatment for such hepatitis other than supportive treatment, such as giving fluids for dehydration and monitoring and making sure the child’s nutritional status is good,” Almadhoun said.

Many things can cause hepatitis, such as excessive alcohol consumption, certain medications, and infections, but the cases of hepatitis recently seen in children across the country have no known cause.

“It’s definitely challenging and worrisome — the only good news is that these cases are very rare,” Almadhoun said.

As for what parents can do, doctors say they should watch for certain symptoms such as fever, fatigue and loss of appetite, and keep up with their child(ren)’s hygiene and vaccinations.

“They just need to stay vigilant about their children’s health, and if they’re sick, it’s best to contact your healthcare provider,” says Dr. Thomas Russo of the UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine.

Oishei Children’s Hospital said the baby boy’s family responded quickly to the symptoms.

Something that doctors have been able to rule out is that these cases of hepatitis have not been linked to COVID-19. So far, state health officials have not said how many cases they are investigating in the state.

The state health service would only issue this statement:

The New York State Department of Health, working with the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the CDC, has been investigating cases of pediatric hepatitis to determine whether they may be related to the disease reported in Europe and the United States. .”

New York Department of Health

Of the children who have fallen ill, the CDC says that more than half of the patients have tested positive for adenovirus, with more than 90% being hospitalized and 14% having a liver transplant.

So far we have heard from several local health departments that no suspicious cases have been reported to them. Those counties are Niagara, Chautauqua, Orleans, and Genesee counties.

The CDC will discuss their research further in a Zoom call next week.

Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. View more of his work here

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