A multi-country hepatitis outbreak with an “unknown origin” has been reported among children aged 1 month to 16 years old.
The World Health Organization said last Saturday that at least 169 cases of acute hepatitis in children have been identified in 11 countries, including 17 who needed liver transplants and one death.
The majority of the cases, 114, have been reported in the United Kingdom. There have been 13 cases in Spain, 12 in Israel, six in Denmark, fewer than five in Ireland, four in the Netherlands, four in Italy, two in Norway, two in France, one in Romania and one in Belgium, according to WHO.
WHO also reported that many cases reported gastrointestinal symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting preceding presentation with severe acute hepatitis, increased levels of liver enzymes and jaundice. However, most cases did not have fevers.
“It is not yet clear if there has been an increase in hepatitis cases, or an increase in awareness of hepatitis cases that occur at the expected rate but go undetected,” WHO said in the release. “While adenovirus is a possible hypothesis, investigations are ongoing for the causative agent.”
The WHO said the investigation into the cause needs to focus on factors such as “increased susceptibility amongst young children following a lower level of circulation of adenovirus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the potential emergence of a novel adenovirus, as well as SARS-CoV-2 co-infection.”
“These cases are currently being investigated by national authorities,” the WHO said.
The WHO “strongly encouraged” member states to identify, investigate and report potential cases that meet the case definition.
Post time: Apr-29-2022