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WHO warns of risk of acute hepatitis in young children related to COVID-19

The UK is seeing a “significant and sudden increase” in cases of severe acute hepatitis in young children, the World Health Organization (WHO) office for Europe said on April 15. , which is believed to be related to the COVID-19 disease.

WHO warns of risk of acute hepatitis in young children related to COVID-19 - 1

According to the office, WHO was notified of 10 cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown cause in children under 10 years of age across central Scotland on April 5. By April 8, this number had spiked, to “74 cases recorded across the UK”.

Laboratory analyzes ruled out infection with hepatitis A, B, C, and E viruses (and even hepatitis D in some cases), but found children infected with one of two viruses, SARS-CoV-2 and adenovirus, in which many children were infected with both viruses simultaneously.

According to WHO, it is necessary to carry out analyzes of the genetics of the virus to identify any possible link between the cases mentioned above. The agency stated: “Several cases have been transferred to pediatric liver departments for treatment and 6 pediatric patients have received liver transplants. As of April 11, there have been no deaths.” .

Not only the UK, many similar cases have been recorded across Europe. In Ireland, 5 cases (including confirmed or suspected) have been reported. Meanwhile, Spain has 3 confirmed cases of pediatric acute hepatitis of unknown etiology (between the ages of 22 months and 13 years).

Symptoms of these children included jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. WHO said authorities in the above countries are investigating these cases. WHO also urges Member States to identify, investigate and report similar cases.

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