The President of the Hellenic and World Pediatric Society, Andreas Konstantinopoulos, advised parents on cases of hepatitis that have been reported in children abroad and have caused concern.
In an interview with ERT, and when asked about symptoms parents should be aware of, Mr. Konstantinopoulos mentioned the first sign to watch out for.
“The symptoms that hepatitis can have are numerous. First of all, the parent needs to pay attention to whether his child has “jaundice”,” he said. The specialist explains that at first the minor will experience yellowness of the eyes. “When jaundice is 1-1.5 units, it is observed in the whites of the eyes (sclera),” he added, stating that “at 7-10 units, it appears on the skin.”
In a healthy person, the whites of the eyes – the sclera – are white. Yellowing of the protein indicates jaundice. It is caused by high levels of bilirubin in the blood. It is a yellow chemical found in bile. It is necessary for the breakdown of fats that enter the body with food. When the level of bilirubin in the blood increases, the excess is deposited in the skin and whites of the eyes, staining them yellow.
The expert also advised examining children in daylight rather than under a light bulb, as “under electrical lighting, the eye may false pale yellow color.” Other symptoms, he says, are fatigue, itching, diarrhea, and vomiting. protothema.gr.
However, because all of these symptoms occur with common viruses, parents should pay special attention to jaundice (hepatitis), Mr. Constantinopoulos said. He also asked that there be no panic, that parents calmly check their children and not “rush to the doctor” until they notice a characteristic symptom – yellowing of the eyes in a child. “It is important when we detect jaundice to act quickly” so that the child can stop all his activities and not get tired (ensure rest and rest) in order to “prevent the condition from worsening,” he concluded.
It should be noted that in Greece there is no confirmed case of hepatitis in a child.