Four questions about mysterious childhood hepatitis in the UK

It’s not just Covid-19 that is keeping health authorities busy. On Friday, April 15, the World Health Organization announced the monitoring of cases of hepatitis in dozens of children in the United Kingdom, the origin of which has not yet been determined. In some cases, this infection requires a liver transplant.

  • How many cases have been detected?

The United Kingdom initially reported 10 cases of acute hepatitis in Scotland to the World Health Organization on April 5, before reporting 74 cases three days later, according to a statement by the World Health Organization, which expects new reports in the coming days. It added that fewer than five confirmed or probable cases had been reported in Ireland, and three in Spain. No deaths were recorded.

The World Health Organization said some cases required transfer to a hepatology ward and six children had to undergo a transplant. This hepatitis mainly affects children under the age of ten and is manifested by symptoms such as jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

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  • What are the origins of this virus?

Since the usual hepatitis viruses (from A to E) are not detected in infected children, British health authorities recently indicated that they are studying the hypothesis of a type of virus (adenovirus), as well as d other possible causes such as Covid -19, other infections or environmental factors . However, they have ruled out any link to the coronavirus vaccine, which has not been given to any of the confirmed cases in the UK.

L’OMS a souligné que le Covid-19 et/ou l’adénovirus, qui connaît une recrudescence au Royaume-Uni, avaient été détectés “dans plusieurs cas”, mais leur rôle dans le développement ” en’ la mal estadi” Clear”. WHO continues, “No other epidemic risk factor has been identified to date, including recent international travel.” The organization is “closely monitoring the situation” and is not recommending any travel restrictions with the UK and other countries where cases have been identified.

On the other hand, an epidemiologically linked case has been discovered, he adds guardianwhich means that the patient has been in contact with one or more people who have contracted or become ill, or have been exposed to a specific source of infection.

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In a statement, Mira Chand of the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) stressed that “regular hygiene measures” such as hand washing “help reduce many of the infections we are investigating”. She called on parents and caregivers to be alert for signs of hepatitis and to “contact a healthcare professional if they are concerned.”


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