About 190 children around the world have mysterious hepatitis – Photo: AFP
“At this time, we believe an adenovirus may be the cause of these reported cases, but other potential environmental and situational factors are still under investigation,” the CDC said in a statement.
According to AFP news agency, a study by the US CDC showed that 9 children, aged 1 to 6 years old, with mysterious hepatitis in the state of Alabama were positive for adeno 41 virus.
The US health agency says adenovirus 41 is known to cause gastroenteritis – an inflammatory bowel disease that causes diarrhea, sometimes vomiting. The US CDC added that the virus is “not generally considered to be a cause of hepatitis in healthy children”.
However, US CDC officials have ruled out that these children have other illnesses, including COVID-19, hepatitis A, B and C, autoimmune hepatitis and Wilson’s disease.
Mysterious hepatitis cases in Alabama were recorded between October 2021 and February 2022. Three of these had acute liver failure, two of which required a liver transplant.
“All patients have recovered or are recovering, including two liver transplant patients,” the US CDC study said.
Prior to admission, most of the nine children mentioned above had vomiting and diarrhea, while some had symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection. At the hospital, most of them had jaundice and an enlarged liver.
In addition, the state of Wisconsin is investigating four cases of mysterious liver disease, including one requiring a liver transplant and one death. Several other US states, including Illinois, have also reported cases of this mysterious hepatitis.
In a related development, according to Reuters news agency, on April 29, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said it had recorded 34 cases of hepatitis in children since the beginning of this week, bringing the total to 145 sick children in this country.
UKHSA says 10 children have received liver transplants and there have been no deaths. Previously, the European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported about 190 cases of unexplained hepatitis in children globally.
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