Health officials from around the world are trying to figure out why children develop severe cases of hepatitis – a disease of the liver.
The World Health Organization said on Saturday that as of April 21, 2022, “at least 169 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin have been reported from 11 countries.”
The children’s ages ranged from 1 month to 16 years. Seventeen of them required a liver transplant and one child died.
The World Health Organization said cases have been reported in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (114), Spain (13), Israel (12), the United States of America (9), Denmark (6), Ireland (<5), the Netherlands ( 4), Italy (4), Norway (2), France (2), Romania (1), and Belgium (1).
It is not yet clear whether there is an increase in cases of hepatitis, or an increase in awareness of cases of hepatitis that are occurring at the expected rate but are undetected. While adenovirus is a possible hypothesis, investigations into the causative agent are underway.”
The World Health Organization said it had not been established whether there was a link between the cases.
Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advice to health care providers and public health officials recommending that children get tested for adenovirus with hepatitis but the cause is unknown.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was notified in November of five pediatric patients in Alabama “with significant liver injury, including three in acute liver failure, who tested positive for adenovirus. All of the children were previously healthy.” None of them had COVID-19.”
“A possible association between childhood hepatitis and adenovirus infection is currently under investigation,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that can be caused by a viral infection, the use of alcohol, toxins, medications, and some other medical conditions. In the United States, the most common causes of viral hepatitis are the hepatitis A viruses, hepatitis A, and hepatitis A. B, and hepatitis C.
Signs and symptoms of hepatitis include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice.
“Adenoviruses are viruses that are spread by close personal contact, respiratory droplets and fomites. There are more than 50 types of immunologically distinct adenoviruses that can cause infection in humans.
Adenoviruses commonly cause respiratory diseases but depending on the type of adenovirus they can cause other diseases such as gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, cystitis and, less commonly, neurological diseases. There is no specific treatment for adenovirus infection.
Type 41 adenovirus typically causes pediatric acute gastroenteritis, which usually presents as diarrhea, vomiting, and fever; It can often be accompanied by respiratory symptoms.
While there have been reports of cases of hepatitis in immunocompromised children with type 41 adenovirus infection, type 41 adenovirus is not known to be a cause of hepatitis in healthy children.”