Mysterious child hepatitis outbreak hasn’t made its way to Mid-Michigan

Some people are taking extra steps to make sure it stays that way
Slowing the spread of hepatitis in children
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Daycares are germ factories. It’s almost inevitable when you have groups of children playing together. But the childhood hepatitis outbreak that’s been slowly spreading is more serious than the typical viruses and bacteria kids trade back and forth.

Even when their toys look clean, bacteria and viruses could still be lurking around. The table and chairs may have been wiped down, but what about germs gathering underneath?

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Helping Hands Christian Learning Center in Lansing said there is no need to panic right now -- but to make sure outbreaks don’t happen, they’re being proactive.

“You have to clean everything on a daily basis, multiple times during the day to make sure they’re safe because their little immune systems aren’t working like yours and mine, and therefore we have to do it for them,” said Rev. Dr. Jan Hite of Redeemer Church and Helping Hands.

Helping Hands already has a janitorial service that comes to do their daily cleaning. As an extra layer of safety and sanitation, Helping Hands teamed up with Enviro-Master Services when COVID was at its peak. The center kept them around for situations like the mysterious child hepatitis outbreak.

“They don’t just kill COVID. They kill all of the germs that are out there and therefore we knew that they would be the best company,” said Rev. Hite.

Enviro-Master Services said they specialize in disease prevention and hygiene intervention products that are not harmful to kids. During their weekly visits, Enviro-Master Services kills germs and breaks the lifecycle of anything that could be left behind.

“We know that children, they put everything in their mouth. So having a clean environment, cleaning all of the -- not only the bathrooms but all the items, the little toys and having this protection, it’s crucial,” said Nydia Rodriguez, Owner of Enviro-Master Services Northern Michigan.

More than 100 kids, under the age of six, have attracted acute hepatitis in the United States. Five children have died and worldwide, there are 450 cases in 25 countries.

More: Health stories

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