Brussels admits outbreak of acute hepatitis in children ‘worrying’

The European Commissioner for Health acknowledged in Brussels today that the acute outbreak of hepatitis of unknown origin in children “is a matter of concern” which “the European Union is following very closely”.

At a press conference dedicated to the Covid-19 pandemic, Stella Kyriakides asked about acute hepatitis cases and took the opportunity to reiterate a petition already made by the ECDC. [Centro Europeu de Prevenção e Controlo de Doenças] in the sense that Member States share all the information ”so that Brussels can“ really monitor the situation very closely ”.

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The commissioner pointed out that on 25 April, the EU already had “about 40 confirmed cases in 12 Member States”, plus more than a hundred in the UK, the commissioner said it was also responsible for the commission. “liaise with all authorities” on public health issues and emphasized that “the ECDC will work with the WHO [Organização Mundial de Saúde] and Member States to collect all the data ’.

According to the European Commissioner for Health, “the cases appear to affect children aged between one month and 16”, and in some cases a liver transplant is needed.

“Based on what we see and the support of the UK, the most likely source seems to be a virus, probably some kind of adenovirus, but as the ECDC said, more information is needed and the ECDC is working on a risk assessment to be published tomorrow. [quinta-feira]”, he pointed out.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control announced on Tuesday that it was analyzing several cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin in children reported in several countries and plans to publish a rapid risk assessment on Thursday.

At a press conference on the recent development of communicable diseases in the European Union, ECDC Director Andrea Ammon began by looking closely at recent “cases of hepatitis of unknown origin in previously healthy children”.

Noting that “the United Kingdom was the first country to issue an alert in early April, since it has since reported more than 100 cases,” and that “since then, more countries have reported cases, including 10 EU countries, but also Israel and the United States”. , Ammon stressed that many of the cases were severe hepatitis and several progressed to acute liver failure that required liver transplants, “indicating the severity of the condition.”

– Studies are ongoing in all countries, but the cause of this hepatitis is currently unknown. Ordinary hepatitis A to E has been ruled out and national health authorities are looking into possible causes, ”he said, refusing to speculate on the origin of these cases until more information is available.

The WHO announced on Sunday that the child had died of a mysterious outbreak of liver disease affecting children in Europe and the United States, without revealing in which country the death took place.

Experts say the cases may be related to a virus that is usually associated with a cold (adenovirus), but investigations are ongoing.

“Although adenovirus is a possible hypothesis, causal studies are underway,” the WHO says, noting that the virus was detected in at least 74 cases.

The outbreak of “unknown origin” reported by the WHO on 15 April causes hepatitis and “in many cases” gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, as well as elevated liver enzymes.

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