The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control reported on Tuesday (April 19) that cases of acute hepatitis of unclear origin have been reported in children in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, usually caused by a viral infection or excessive alcohol consumption. There are several common variants, such as A, B, C, D, and E, each with a different degree of contagion or causation. However, the center stated that the reported cases are not one of these variants.
One possible cause we’re investigating is adenovirus infection. “However, we are also comprehensively investigating other potential causes,” Myra Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said on April 12.
Adenoviruses can cause a range of symptoms, including the common cold, vomiting and diarrhea, from which most people recover without complications. A well-known rare complication of the virus is the induction of hepatitis.
The authorities said that these viruses are usually transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces and through the respiratory system UKHSA.
Other potential causes, such as the coronavirus and other infections or environmental causes, are also being investigated.
“Regular hygiene practices, such as good hand washing — including supervising children — and respiratory hygiene help reduce the spread of many of the infections we studied,” Chand said.
It has been determined that there is no direct link to the coronavirus vaccine as none of the currently confirmed cases in the UK have been vaccinated.
In addition to the cases reported in the United Kingdom and the European Union, nine cases of acute hepatitis were also reported in children aged one to six years in Alabama, in the United States.
Reported symptoms include “markedly elevated transaminases, often associated with jaundice and sometimes preceded by gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting, in children up to 16 years of age,” according to the ECDC in directions Prescribe it to doctors.
Abdominal pain and diarrhea have also been reported in the previous weeks. Most of those infected did not develop a fever. Some of the injured had to be treated in specialized liver units for children, and some underwent a liver transplant.”
Chand called on parents to be vigilant: “We also urge parents and guardians to watch for signs of hepatitis – including jaundice – and to contact a doctor if they are concerned.”
The first indication of an increase in cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin in previously healthy children under the age of 10 from Scotland was reported more than two weeks ago, on 5 April.
Three days later, on the eighth of April, 74 cases were discovered in the United Kingdom, WHO stated Friday (April 15).
Further investigations into the spread and cause of the virus are still ongoing.
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