The World Health Organization is monitoring cases of hepatitis in dozens of children in the UK whose origin has yet to be determined, and who in some cases required liver transplants, it said on Friday. The UK first reported 10 cases of severe hepatitis in Scotland to the WHO on April 5, before reporting a total of 74 cases three days later, according to a statement from the WHO, which expects new reports in the coming days.
Some cases required transfer to a ward specializing in liver disease, and six children had to undergo transplants, the WHO said. Fewer than five confirmed or possible cases have also been reported in Ireland and three cases in Spain, she continues. No deaths were recorded.
affected young children
This hepatitis mainly affects children under the age of 10 and presents with symptoms such as jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
As the usual hepatitis viruses (A to E) could not be detected in affected children, the British health authorities have recently indicated that they are examining the hypothesis of a virus type (adenovirus) as well as other possible causes such as Covid -19, other infections or environmental factors . However, they ruled out a link to the Covid vaccine, which has not been administered to any of the confirmed cases in the UK.
In a statement, Meera Chand of the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) indicated that “normal hygiene practices” such as hand washing “help reduce many of the infections we are investigating” and urged parents and carers to watch for signs of to be alert to hepatitis, and “contact a doctor if you are concerned”.
The WHO stressed that Covid-19 and/or the adenovirus, which is experiencing a resurgence in Britain, had been detected “in several cases” and their role in the development of the disease was “not yet clear”. “No other epidemiological risk factor has been identified to date, including recent international travel,” continues the WHO, which is “closely monitoring the situation” and recommending no travel restrictions with the UK and other countries where cases have been identified.