The European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) confirmed today that new cases of hepatitis of unknown origin in children have been reported in Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands. Although the European body has not specified the number of new cases, the most recent relate to the 74 already reported in the United Kingdom and the three diagnosed in Spain.
ECDC also reports nine cases of children aged 1-6 in Alabama, USA.
Although the causes of these severe hepatitis are still being investigated, a hypothesis that is gaining ground is adenovirus infection.
“Currently, the exact cause of hepatitis in these children is unknown. The case group in the UK, where the majority of cases have occurred so far, estimates that it is most likely to be contagious, given the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the cases under investigation.
Britain raised the alarm at the end of March
It was Britain that raised the alarm at the end of March when it announced an increase in the number of cases of hepatitis of unknown origin in Scotland.
The Scottish cases were followed by dozens of cases in the following days in England and also in Wales. The most affected children are 2 to 5 years old, although the disease has also been seen in younger and older children.
To date, 74 cases have been identified in the United Kingdom.
Three unknown cases of childhood hepatitis have been reported in Spain
Cases were reported in children aged 2 to 7 years in Madrid, Aragon and Castile-La Mancha and Aragon.
Patients are being hospitalized at La Paz University Hospital in Madrid.
According to El Mundo, one of the children had a liver transplant, but everyone is progressing favorably.
Symptoms of the disease:
- abdominal pain and vomiting;
- dark coloring of urine;
- acolia (lack of bile secretion).
Hepatitis is a rare disease in children that causes hepatitis, which can affect liver function. In minors, the most common cause is infection and a viral infection within it.
The main preventive measures to prevent viral infection are repeated washing of the hands, covering of the mouth during coughing from inside the elbow, and the use of disposable wipes.
There is no association with Covid-19
Experts are convinced that the cause of the disease is not related to the Covid-19 vaccine, as none of those in the UK received such a vaccine.
Laboratory tests exclude viral hepatitis types A, B, C, D and E in all cases.
“Of the 13 cases reported in Scotland for which detailed test data are available, three were positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, five were negative and two documented infection in the last three months. Of these 13 cases, 11 were positive for adenovirus and five were positive,” ECDC according to.