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There have been 20 countries recorded patients with mysterious hepatitis

The adenovirus is currently the suspected causative agent of the mysterious hepatitis. Source: Shutterstock

More countries continue to record cases of children infected hepatitis The origin is unknown and there are additional deaths. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is accelerating research into the causes of the disease.

Indonesian health authorities yesterday announced the fifth death from acute hepatitis of unknown cause in a child. Before death, the patient was hospitalized with nausea, vomiting, fever, yellow eyes and loss of consciousness. A total of 15 pediatric patients have been confirmed with acute hepatitis of unknown etiology, since the Indonesian Ministry of Health conducted a nationwide investigation of the disease.

Sweden’s Public Health Agency (PHA) yesterday announced that it had recorded 9 pediatric patients in this country suspected of having acute hepatitis of unknown cause. All nine cases mentioned above became ill between November 2021 and April 2022 with symptoms of jaundice, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Authorities have advised caregivers to be vigilant if they experience similar symptoms.

Previously, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recorded an acute hepatitis case as a baby who was both infected with the adeno virus and contracted COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that in the past week there have been important advances in research into the causes of the disease. Accordingly, the leading hypothesis for the cause of this mysterious hepatitis is currently still leaning towards the adeno virus, despite considerable consideration of the role of COVID-19 as a co-infection or pre-existing disease.

Specifically, further tests confirmed about 70% of cases were positive for adenovirus, which is commonly associated with gastritis. Meanwhile, about 18% are positive for COVID-19.

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