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UK and other countries: puzzling cases of hepatitis in children

Cases of hepatitis in children of unknown origin, which were first reported in the UK, have spread to other European countries.

The European Union Health Authority (ECDC) announced today that such infections of the liver with an unknown cause have been found in children in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain. There are also nine suspected cases in the US state of Alabama.

ECDC assumes infection is the cause

According to the center, cases are still being examined in all affected countries. “The exact cause of hepatitis in these children is currently unknown.” No known pathogens of hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E were detected in those infected.

So British health authorities are examining links with other common pathogens such as the coronavirus, past infections and environmental factors. According to the ECDC, the most likely cause is currently infection.

The World Health Organization reviews cases

The World Health Organization said, on Friday, that it was reviewing 84 cases of hepatitis in children reported in Britain since the fifth of April. The statement said the World Health Organization was expecting more cases.

In most of these cases, children do not develop a fever. Symptoms included abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and jaundice. Some of the hepatitis in the UK was so severe that children had to be transferred to liver wards. According to WHO and ECDC, six children had to undergo a new liver transplant.

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