As states have lifted COVID restrictions, many people are removing their masks and making up for time lost with their loved ones. One habit that people should stay vigilant about is handwashing.
Handwashing isn’t just to stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s to stop the spread of hundreds of viruses that are always circulating communities throughout the year. We are being reminded of this quickly with the rise of pediatric Hepatitis cases in America today.
Across America and Europe, we are currently seeing a spike in pediatric Hepatitis cases
In the United States, the CDC is reporting over 100 cases with the average age of patients in the average age of 2 years and 11 months. Of these cases, 90% have been hospitalized, 14% have had to undergo liver transplants and five children have died from the disease.
Hepatitis is an infection that attacks and damages the liver. The cause of hepatitis varies by type. In the United States, there are four common types are hepatitis.
Officials are referring to these cases as “hepatitis of an unknown cause.” However, one theory is that adenovirus is to blame as it has been found in over half of the Hepatitis patients. Adenovirus is a common virus that affects the respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems. Currently, this is the leading hypothesis, but researchers are also quick to point out that it is too early to make a decisive conclusion.
If your child contracts hepatitis, they may show symptoms of pain in the upper right side of their stomach, poor appetite, yellowing of their skin or whites of their eyes, dark brown urine, and/or light-colored bowl movements. Frustratingly enough, your child may not present any symptoms at all, making the disease more transmittable because people have their guard down and not taking proper precautions.
Doctors are recommending to stay vigilant of symptoms and to contact a doctor right away if your child is ill. Additionally, we should continue proper handwashing throughout the day at critical times, such as after using the bathroom, after coming in the house, and before eating.
Related Article: How to Use Cleansio Foaming Hand Soap Tablets
Although we may think that handwashing has been around forever and we no longer need to talk about it. The benefits of handwashing really only became well known in the 1980’s after the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) conducted research around the world of what diseases can be prevented with the use of water and soap. This research is celebrated and acknowledged annually on Global Handwashing Day on October 15 every year since 2008.
The research done by the PPPHW helped us understand how disease can be transmitted. Their research and the research collected by other organizations prove that proper hand hygiene reduces:
It is also the main prevention tool we have to prevent ourselves and our children from contracting hepatitis.
Viral hepatitis can be treated at home with rest, fluids, and proper nutrition. However, keeping a child hydrated while sick is often challenging and a trip to the ICU for fluids and monitoring will likely be necessary given that the majority of cases in children today are resulting in hospitalization.
If left untreated and unable to manage at home, the patient runs the risk of severe liver damage. Once damage reaches this severity, a liver transplant may be the only option for survival. If your child is sick and is showing signs of hepatitis, please call your doctor and get your child tested as soon as possible to start necessary treatment and be vigilant about handwashing so the virus is not spread to others.
The best way to stay healthy and to keep viruses out of your home is to wash your hands at critical points of the day with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure that your home is fully stocked with foaming hand soap by using the Cleansio Foaming Hand Soap Tablets and ensure your family has the tools to keep themselves healthy all year long.