One death, 17 liver transplants in hepatitis outbreaks in multiple countries, says WHO

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The World Health Organization said Saturday that at least 169 cases of acute hepatitis have been identified in children aged between one month and 16 years in an outbreak that now includes 11 countries. In a press release, the World Health Organization said 17 children required liver transplants. “It is not yet clear whether there has been an increase in hepatitis cases, or an increase in awareness of cases of hepatitis that are occurring at the expected rate but still have not been detected,” the World Health Organization said in a statement. “While the adenovirus is Possible hypothesis, investigations are underway regarding the causative agent.” Clinical Syndrome “Among the identified cases is acute hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) with marked elevation of liver enzymes. Many cases have reported gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting” before the onset of severe acute hepatitis”, as well as increased levels of liver enzymes or alanine aminotransaminase and jaundice. Most of the reported cases did not have fever, the World Health Organization said, and the common viruses that cause acute viral hepatitis – such as hepatitis viruses – have not been detected. A, B, C, D, and E – in any of these. It helps fight infections. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected, hepatitis is often caused by a virus, and adenoviruses are a common type of virus. It spreads from person to person and can cause a range of mild to severe illnesses. But these viruses are rarely reported as a cause of acute hepatitis in otherwise healthy people. The World Health Organization said investigation into the cause needs to focus on factors such as “increased susceptibility to infection among young children following a reduced level of adenovirus circulation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the potential emergence of a new adenovirus, as well as co-infection of SARS-CoV-2”. The majority of cases – 114 – have been reported in the UK. There were 13 cases in Spain, 12 in Israel, nine in the United States and a smaller number of confirmed cases in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, France, Romania and Belgium, according to the World Health Organization. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health advice alerting health care providers and public health authorities to investigate acute cases of hepatitis of unknown causes. Unknown, adding that a full blood test — not just blood plasma — may be more sensitive.

The World Health Organization said Saturday that at least 169 cases of acute hepatitis have been identified in children aged between one month and 16 years in an outbreak that now includes 11 countries.

Of the cases of acute hepatitis, at least one child died and 17 required liver transplants, the World Health Organization said in a press release.

“It is not yet clear whether there has been an increase in cases of hepatitis or an increase in awareness of cases of hepatitis that are occurring at the expected rate but have not been detected,” the WHO said in a statement. “While adenovirus is a possible hypothesis, investigations into the causative agent are ongoing.”

The clinical syndrome “among the cases identified is acute hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) with marked elevation of liver enzymes,” the statement said. Several cases have reported gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting (pre-appearing with severe acute hepatitis), as well as increased levels of liver enzymes or alanine aminotransferase and jaundice.

Most of the reported cases did not have a fever, the World Health Organization said, and the common viruses that cause acute viral hepatitis – such as hepatitis A, B, C, D and E – were not detected in any of these cases.

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, which is a vital organ that processes nutrients, purifies the blood, and helps fight infections. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected.

Most often, hepatitis is caused by a virus, and adenovirus is a common type of virus that spreads from person to person and can cause a range of mild to severe illnesses. But these viruses are rarely reported as a cause of acute hepatitis in otherwise healthy people.

The World Health Organization said investigation into the cause needs to focus on factors such as “increased sensitivity among young children following a decrease in the level of circulating adenovirus during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the potential emergence of a new adenovirus, as well as SARS-CoV.-2 concomitant infection.”

The majority of cases – 114 – have been reported in the UK. The World Health Organization reported that there are 13 cases in Spain, 12 in Israel, nine in the United States, and a smaller number of confirmed cases in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, France, Romania and Belgium.

On Thursday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advice alerting health care providers and public health authorities to investigate acute hepatitis cases of unknown causes.

The CDC recommends providers that recommend adenovirus testing on children with hepatitis when the cause is unknown, adding that a full blood test — not just blood plasma — may be more sensitive.

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