Acute childhood hepatitis: do the vaccines of the vaccination schedule help?, the UNAM responds

UNAM specialists spoke about acute childhood hepatitis and vaccines against other types of this disease / Photo: Getty Images

The acute childhood hepatitis It is a health problem that has already claimed its first fatality, according to the undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo López Gatell. For this reason, UNAM specialists answer whether the vaccines of the national vaccination schedule help against this type of hepatitis of unknown origin.

Do existing vaccines work against acute childhood hepatitis?

The doctors Rosa Maria Wong Chew y Sarbelio Moreno Espinosaspecialists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), explained that there are different types of hepatitis, for which there is already a vaccine. However they are different from the viral disease that was first detected in Scotland.

Espinosa Moreno stressed that trying to prevent acute childhood hepatitis with already developed vaccines it is a mistake. Although he clarified the importance of keep vaccination schedule up to date as a health measure.

Severe viral hepatitis in infants

Cases registered so far have been negative for hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses.

Wong Chew specified that the cases registered so far were negative for virus A, B, C, D and E of the hepatitis, so it is a different virus. The current hypothesis is that It is caused by adenovirus 41..

“In some cases, an adenovirus could be detected, and of this adenovirus, 41, were negative for the viruses that are normally known. Studies were done and they saw that there was nothing of this “

Rosa Maria Wong Chew

The specialist also made a call not to believe in those who can take advantage of promoting the vaccine of the hepatitis B in vaccination campaigns that will not help at all, because “as Dr. Wong said, these are not the viruses that usually cause hepatitis”.

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“When we see hepatitiswe almost always think of the most common hepatitis and everyone says ‘well, if there is a vaccine against hepatitis, we are going to put it on’ and unfortunately, there are times when misinformation is worse than ignorance”, Moreno Espinosa highlighted.

Should we stop getting vaccinated against hepatitis?

Wong Chew y Espinosa Moreno They exhorted the population not to stop applying these doses if necessary and especially in the child population. And they added to carry, in an orderly and timely manner, the children’s vaccination schedule.

Although the vaccines that are part of the vaccination schedule for children and adolescents will not cure acute childhood hepatitisit is important not to stop being vaccinated to avoid the consequences of the remaining types, as they can become fatal in minors, they confirmed.

According to UNAMit is essential to attend appropriately in case of having hepatitisbecause it can “generate cancer in the liver, cirrhosis and even death. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in 2021 that every 30 seconds a person dies from this infection or its complications.

In Mexico, the prevalence of hepatitis is high

The UNAM He explained that in Mexico the hepatitis A It has a prevalence of approx. 70%which means that seven out of ten people have had contact with this virus transmitted by contamination of water or food with fecal matter, which is common.

In the hepatitis B, the prevalence is 4.5%, while less than 0.2% are chronic carriers. Of those under five years of age who acquire it, 90% become chronic carriers, and the majority will develop cirrhosis or cancer. That is why it is important to apply the pentavalent vaccineeven if it doesn’t cure acute childhood hepatitis.

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For the hepatitis C it is 2%. Here the most serious problem is that 85% of those who suffer from the infection become chronic carriers and are at risk of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer 15 to 25 years after infection.

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