190 cases of unexplained acute hepatitis detected in children: ECDC

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported on Tuesday about 190 unexplained cases of severe hepatitis in children around the world.

The outbreak was first reported this month in United Kingdom —which has registered 111 cases, the majority in children under 10 years of age— and has since been identified in at least 12 countries around the world.

About 40 cases have been recorded in the European Union and the European Economic Areasaid the director of the ECDC, andrea amon, to journalists in a virtual briefing. Cases have also been reported in USA and Israel.

The ECDC is investigating together with the national authorities and the World Health Organization. Severe hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver, is rare in otherwise healthy children.

Exceptionally, the new cases do not present the viruses typically responsible for acute inflammation of the liver: hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.

According to the WHO, 17 children have required liver transplants as a result of the latest cases, and one has died.

Ammon said research done so far points to a link to infection with a adenovirusesa family of common viruses that can cause flu-like or gastrointestinal symptoms.

As he indicated, one of the theories being considered is that lockdowns due to covid-19 they may have weakened the children’s immunity, because they were less exposed to common pathogens while isolated.

Scientists are also investigating whether the adenoviruses implicated has mutated or is acting in conjunction with another infection, possibly the Covid-19. A toxin could also be responsible, but is considered less likely due to the geographic spread of reported cases.

Any connection to the vaccination against Covid-19.

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