According to the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of unexplained cases of childhood hepatitis in the world has reached about 450, including 11 deaths.
Cases come from more than 20 countries around the world, with more than five cases reported in about 14 countries. The countries with the highest incidence so far are the United Kingdom and the United States.
In the UK, officials identified 163 cases in children under the age of 16, 11 of which required liver transplants. Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said it was investigating 109 cases involving children under the age of 10 from 25 states. Fourteen percent needed liver transplants, and five children died.
Fourteen EU countries reported a total of about 106 cases, with Italy (35) and Spain (22) the largest number of EU members. In addition to the EU, officials in Argentina (8), Brazil (16), Canada (7), Costa Rica (2), Indonesia (15), Israel (12), Japan (7), Panama (1), and Palestine (1) , Serbia (1), Singapore (1) and South Korea (1).
Eleven deaths were reported in Indonesia (5), Palestine (1) and the United States (5).
The cause of severe hepatitis – inflammation of the liver – remains a mystery, despite the growing number. Some cases have been identified retrospectively as of October 1, 2021.
Health workers around the world are looking for cases of acute hepatitis in children that cannot be explained by common culprits, such as hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses that damage the liver. Liver disease enzyme levels are also high in patients with the disease.
“Currently, the leading hypotheses remain those involving adenoviruses,” Philip Easterbrook, a senior researcher at the World Health Organization, told a news briefing on Tuesday. “But,” he added, “I think [there’s] There is still an important idea about the role of COVID as a co-infection or a previous infection.
Easterbrook noted that about 70 percent of cases tested for adenovirus were positive, and subtype testing typically continues to convert 41 strains of adenovirus.
The date is coming soon
Adenoviruses are not known to cause hepatitis in healthy children, but a large family of viruses has previously been linked to liver damage in children with weakened immune systems. Adenoviruses are the most common cause of respiratory infections in healthy children, and are associated with type 41 gastrointestinal illness.
Liver biopsy data have not yet identified adenovirus in the liver of affected children, which raises further questions. In addition, adenoviruses are more common in children, and some cases of hepatitis occur when the prevalence of adenovirus in the general population is high. The detection of this adenovirus increases the likelihood that it is not the cause of liver damage, but accidental.
Speaking at a news briefing on Tuesday, Easterbrook said: “We hope to have information from the UK within a week. [an] An important case-control study to compare the detection rate of adeno in children with liver disease differs from that of other hospitalized children. This will help determine if the adeno is actually an accidental infection or a causal or causal link. “
Otherwise, officials said, these cases are rare and unrelated, with no known effects on medications, food, beverages, toxins, or travel. The CDC has also ruled out bacterial infections, urinary tract infections, hepatitis and a rare genetic disease called Wilson’s disease, based on cases in Alabama.
According to Easterbrook, testing found that about 18 percent of cases were positive for SARS-CoV-2. However, the U.S. CDC dismissed SARS-CoV-2 as the direct cause of the case, noting that all of the first nine cases identified in Alabama had a negative impact on the virus. At a press briefing last week, CDC Deputy Director of Infectious Diseases Jay Butler said the agency was still keeping clear that former SARS-CoV-2 infections could play a role in these cases. Studies of previous SARS-CoV-2 infections in infected children are now continuing in the United States and elsewhere.