The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that at least one child has died from a mystery strain of severe hepatitis that has now been reported in 12 countries.
According to the UN, there have been 169 rare cases of acute hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, in young children. According to The Guardian, 17 of these people became so ill that they required liver transplants.
The UK has at least 114 infections, followed by Spain, which has 13 cases, and Israel, which has 12. The outbreak has now reached the United States, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Norway, Romania, and Belgium.
While mild paediatric hepatitis is not uncommon, severe hepatitis in previously healthy children is uncommon, according to the report.
Since a cluster of cases was identified in Scotland between January and mid-April, health authorities have been investigating the mystery illness, which has affected young people ranging in age from one month to 16 years old.
The WHO encouraged countries to monitor and report similar cases in an interview with Stat, a US health news website.
The cases are even more unusual because they are not linked to any of the virus’s five common strains, hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.