May 18, 2022

Image credit: RCNi

Hepatitis is detected in nearly 300 children worldwide

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 300 suspected instances of acute hepatitis in children have been found in 20 countries around the world, with several in Southeast Asia.

Officials from all over the world are looking into a surprising rise in cases of liver disease, which was initially discovered in the United Kingdom.

The majority of cases of hepatitis in young children had been found in Europe as of May 1, with modest numbers being recorded in the Americas, Western Pacific, and Southeast Asia.

The first occurrences of this unique hepatitis were found in youngsters under the age of ten in Scotland. In the United Kingdom, more than 140 instances are now being examined.

Hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D, and E, which ordinarily cause the disease, were not found in any of the children.

After UK health officials raised awareness of the inexplicable liver illness “of unknown origin” in infants, countries all over the world began looking for it.

There is no reason to suppose that the rare disease is spreading globally.

According to the WHO, it is still unclear if there has been an increase in hepatitis cases or an increase in awareness of a disease that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Scientists suspect a common virus that has resurfaced since the epidemic may be to blame. It has recently been circulating at significantly higher levels than usual.

In almost three-quarters of the UK children with confirmed hepatitis who were tested, adenovirus was the most prevalent infection found.

Adenovirus F41, a kind of adenovirus, was discovered in the blood of a quarter of the children.

Young children, who were not exposed to common viruses during the COVID pandemic due to restricted social mixing, are now getting sick when they have no previous protection, according to UK health officials.

Adenoviruses are viruses that cause colds, sickness, and diarrhoea. There are 50 different types of adenoviruses. In healthy youngsters, they rarely cause hepatitis.

Other factors being investigated include the introduction of a new adenovirus strain, a previous Covid infection, or both occurring at the same time.