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WHO investigates hepatitis of unknown origin in children in UK


The World Health Organization (WHO) is monitoring cases of hepatitis in dozens of children in the UK “whose origin remains to be determined, which in some cases required a liver transplant”, he said. she announced on Friday. The UK initially reported ten cases of severe hepatitis in Scotland to the WHO on April 5, before reporting a total of 74 three days later, according to a WHO statement, which expects to new reports in the coming days. Some cases required transfer to a specialist liver disease ward and six children had to undergo a transplant, the WHO said.

Less than five confirmed or possible cases have also been reported in Ireland, and three cases in Spain, she continues. No deaths have been recorded. This hepatitis mainly affects children under the age of ten, and is manifested by symptoms such as jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

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Other viruses being studied to explain the cases

Since the usual hepatitis viruses (A to E) have not been detected in affected children, the British health authorities have recently indicated that they are examining the hypothesis of a type of virus (adenovirus), as well as d other possible causes such as Covid-19, other infections or environmental factors.

On the other hand, they ruled out any link with the Covid vaccine, which was not administered to any of the confirmed cases in the United Kingdom. In a statement, Meera Chand of the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) pointed out that “normal hygiene measures” such as hand washing “help to reduce many of the infections we are investigating” and called on parents and babysitters to be alert for signs of hepatitis, and to “contact a healthcare professional if they are concerned”.

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“No other epidemiological risk factor”

The WHO stressed that Covid-19 and/or adenovirus, which is experiencing an upsurge in the UK, had been detected “in several cases”, but their role in the development of the disease “is not yet clear”.

“No other epidemiological risk factor has been identified to date, including recent international travel,” continues the WHO, which “closely monitors the situation” and does not recommend any travel restrictions with the United Kingdom. United and other countries where cases have been identified.

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