‘This is not my kid’: Mysterious hepatitis wreaked havoc in healthy child with shocking speed

“Her eyes didn’t look like they were attached to her head anymore,” her mom, Kelsea Schwab, told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “They were just rolling all over.

“She would still ask for bananas and ask for juice and ask for snuggles, kind of like she’s still there, but not really,” she said.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Baelyn’s liver had become so damaged that it could no longer clean ammonia out of her blood.

She’s part of a nationwide investigation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into recent cases of sudden severe hepatitis — or swelling of the liver — in 109 children in 25 states and territories. There are roughly 340 more children with similar cases around the world, the, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reported on Wednesday.

In the US, five of the children have died, and 15 have needed liver transplants.

Globally, including the US, there have been 11 deaths, and in the UK, 11 children have received liver transplants.

Like Baelyn, most of the children are young — under the age of 5. Many had no apparent health problems before showing signs of liver injury: They lost their appetites. Their skin and eyes began to turn yellow, symptom called jaundice. Some had dark urine and cloudy gray stool.

Within a week, Baelyn had gone from running around her family’s farm in Aberdeen, South Dakota, playing with her sister and watching the children’s TV show “Blippi,” to a room in the pediatric intensive care unit at M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, where doctors were checking her blood four or five times a day, watching to see if her liver might recover. But it didn’t.

“Slowly watching her deteriorate like that, like her muscles, she would start shaking, and she had a hard time sitting up, and she couldn’t hold her head up, and just watching her go through that was like, ‘this is not my kid,’ ” Schwab said. “Like, am I ever even going to get her back?”

‘This is very unusual for us’

The liver has a number of important roles. It controls clotting factors in the blood. It contributes to the body’s immune response. It also filters out ammonia that is produced when bacteria in the intestines break down protein. When the liver is working as it should, ammonia gets changed into urea and flushed out of the body as urine.

Normal blood levels of ammonia are between 25 and 40, says Dr. Srinath Chinnakotla, surgical director of the liver transplant program at M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital.

What parents should know about the increase in unexplained hepatitis cases in children

“Anything over 100, you can get symptoms,” Chinnakotla said. “So what happens is that the brain starts swelling, and then they become comatose. And if you don’t transplant them appropriately, they can have brain damage” — or, worse, die.

Baelyn’s ammonia level had gotten as high as 109.

“That’s when I got a little bit nervous,” Chinnakotla said. At levels that high, “the kidneys shut

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Lawmakers seek out bipartisan offer on kid psychological well being monthly bill | Wellness and Fitness

A team of Democratic and Republican state lawmakers on Friday unveiled the beginnings of what they pledged will be big overhaul of mental wellbeing products and services for little ones in Connecticut, an situation some regularly referred to as a “crisis” that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The roughly 100-site monthly bill staying offered by the Household of Reps legislators, all users of a bipartisan doing work team that began assembly in November, is a single of numerous proposals to boost mental health treatment up for thing to consider this session, which includes those from Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont and the point out Senate caucuses.

Dwelling Speaker Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, predicted the many expenses will inevitably be morphed into a single bipartisan piece of legislation that addresses almost everything from increasing the depleted ranks of mental health staff through scholar mortgage forgiveness and other applications to generating peer guidance packages in educational institutions.

“It’s not a rivalry. It’s not a competitiveness of expenditures or ideas, but relatively it displays that everybody in this developing believes this is an possibility for us to make key alterations in the way we address psychological wellbeing for our youngsters,” Ritter reported of the dueling proposals.

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“This must be and have to be a bipartisan piece of laws. Historic variations do not materialize frequently when it is a single sided,” he stated. “We will have our disagreements. We will have votes that go 1 way or the other. But this is an chance to provide individuals jointly and display the condition and exhibit the state this is what happens when folks function jointly.”

The Normal Assembly’s Public Wellbeing Committee is scheduled to maintain a public listening to Feb. 25 to hear testimony on the payments, which tackle a wide variety of challenges together with funding for extra cellular disaster models, generating telehealth companies permanent, increasing the kinds of psychological well being treatment solutions for kids and their households, and funding for more in-faculty social workers and psychiatrists. In some scenarios, the proposals call for at first employing federal COVID relief income to kick-begin the initiatives.

There are also proposals that deal with the improved demand for mental wellness providers for grownups as nicely.

“This is a get started,” reported Rep. William Petit, R-Plainville, a doctor, of the bill unveiled Friday. “I assume the general public hearing method is heading to be significant to get enter from companies, people today on the front traces, of what needs to be tweaked, what wants to be additional to.”

He recalled Friday how acquiring a affected person the mental well being treatment they will need is “one of the toughest jobs” he has confronted as a medical doctor.

Like numerous states, Connecticut faces a shortage of all types of behavioral overall health personnel. According to scientists at the Kaiser Loved ones Basis, the per cent of the will need for mental overall health industry experts in Connecticut that was satisfied as of

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