Jakarta – Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono outlined five hypotheses concerning the cause of mysterious acute hepatitis that is found to infect those below 16 years of age based on research results from health experts worldwide.
“The first one is Adenovirus infection,” he noted during an opinion hearing meeting here on Monday.
According to the examination result, Adenovirus was found in around 70 percent of the child patients suspected to have contracted hepatitis, he remarked.
The experts are still further analyzing the manner in which Adenovirus that usually attacks the patients’ respiratory tract and causes coughing and influenza infects those under the age of 16.
The second hypothesis is that the mysterious acute hepatitis disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 syndrome after an unknown infection, Harbuwono noted.
The third hypothesis revolved around the influence of medicine, poison, or environmental exposure as a result of acute hepatitis disease.
“Medicine, poison, and environmental exposure, especially from animals, can cause infection (disease) in humans, and as a result, mysterious hepatitis may be caused by that,” he explained.
According to the fourth hypothesis, acute hepatitis is caused by a new, unknown pathogen. Meanwhile, the fifth hypothesis concerns a new SARS-CoV-2 variant that may have emerged as the cause that must be analyzed.
The Health Ministry, until May 17, 2022, had recorded 14 suspected hepatitis cases comprising one case in North Sumatra, one in West Sumatra, eight in Jakarta, one in Jambi, and three in East Java.
According to the ministry’s data, seven suspected hepatitis cases were found in children under the age of five, two among children aged six to 10 years, and five in children aged 11 to 16.
In an effort to handle the acute hepatitis disease of unknown origin, the government conducted surveillance and pathogen analysis to gain a broader understanding of the virus variant and conducted case data collection.
Moreover, it conducts case handling guideline formulation and appoints laboratories to examine samples from patients suspected to have contracted acute hepatitis.