CDC Alert on Childhood Hepatitis Outbreak; New details on Omicron’s gravity versus other variants; and more

Details of the CDC’s alert on the outbreak of hepatitis in children under 6

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert this week to inform parents of the increasing number of cases of hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) “of unknown cause” in children requiring hospitalization.

All of the children were previously healthy and between the ages of one and six at the time of hospitalization. As of this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said more than 340 probable cases of hepatitis in children have been reported in 20 countries. In the United States, there are at least 109 confirmed cases, with five deaths, in more than 25 states and Puerto Rico, according to the CDC. Health officials do not believe the outbreak of hepatitis in pediatric cases is linked to COVID-19.

“Hearing about serious liver disease in children can be worrying. If you have questions about your child’s health, call your child’s health care provider,” the CDC states. The CDC adds that parents should be aware of symptoms associated with liver inflammation, including fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, and jaundice, which is yellowing of the skin.

The CDC said it is working with “public health officials around the world to understand what they are learning.” Adenovirus was detected in some of these patients in the UK and Europe, but not all. Adenoviruses are common viruses that usually cause a mild cold or flu.

“Investigators are considering other possible causes and identifying other possible contributing factors,” the agency added. The CDC asks health care providers to consider testing children with hepatitis of unknown origin for adenovirus and to report any possible cases of hepatitis to their local or state public health authorities.

Omicron was as serious as previous variants, but vaccinations reduced hospitalizations and deaths, new study finds

Preliminary results from a large US study indicate that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was as severe as previous variants. This contrasts with assumptions in previous studies that it was more transmissible but less likely to cause severe disease.

The researchers estimated the severity of Omicron after taking into account the impact of vaccines, a factor that reinforces the vital importance of initial vaccinations and follow-up boosters, experts say. Vaccines helped keep COVID hospitalizations and deaths relatively low during the Omicron surge, compared to previous variants.

The study was conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Minerva University, and is currently undergoing peer review. The data is based on records of 130,000 COVID patients in Massachusetts.

“Our analysis suggests that the intrinsic severity of the Omicron variant may be as severe as previous variants,” the study authors wrote.

Previous studies have shown “very clearly that vaccinations protect against the Omicron variant,” the study says. The researchers said they went further than other studies by incorporating “vaccinations, comorbidities, demographics and healthcare utilization” to show that the severity of omicron was very similar to variants. previous ones.

The study authors admit that measuring the severity of the variants is difficult but important.

“Measuring the severity of the new variant can be difficult given that there are so many confounding factors that have changed since the start of the pandemic,” the study says. “Yet the large difference in unadjusted risk of hospitalization and mortality between the Omicron period and that of other periods, and this difference decreasing after adjusting for wave differences, is important in emphasizing that variants remain dangerous entities. “

This amount of sleep helps prevent cognitive decline starting in middle age, new research suggests

Seven hours is the ideal length of a night’s sleep for adults from middle age and up. And those who don’t get enough — or too much — sleep may experience deterioration in their cognitive health, new research suggests.

The study of almost 500,000 adults, aged 38 to 73, found that too much and too little sleep were associated with poorer cognitive performance and mental health, including anxiety and depression . Cognitive impairments can include a reduced ability to pay attention, remember and learn new things, solve problems and make decisions.

Researchers from China and the UK looked at data from the UK Biobank – a government-backed long-term health study. Participants were asked about their sleep habits, mental health and general well-being. They also participated in a series of cognitive tests. Brain imaging and genetic data were available for almost 40,000 of the study participants. The study was published in the scientific journal Nature Aging.

“Although we can’t say conclusively that too little or too much sleep causes cognitive problems, our analysis of individuals over a longer period of time seems to support this idea,” said Jianfeng Feng, a professor at the University. Fudan of China and author of the study, said in a statement. “But the reasons why older people sleep less appear to be complex, influenced by a combination of our genetic make-up and brain structure.”

Seven consistent hours of sleep each night, without much fluctuation in duration, is important for cognitive performance and good mental health and well-being, the study concludes. Previous studies have also shown that uneven or interrupted sleep patterns are linked to a higher risk of age-related diseases, including dementia.

Sleep needs can vary from person to person. But experts generally recommend that healthy adults spend an average of seven to nine hours a night,

Barbara Sahakian, a professor in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Psychiatry, one of the study’s authors, said in a statement: “Getting a good night’s sleep is important at all stages of life, but especially as we age.Finding ways to improve sleep in older adults could be crucial in helping them maintain good mental health and well-being and ward off cognitive decline, especially for patients with disorders psychiatric and dementia.

Tags: children’s health, COVID-19, Sleep health

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