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Mystery acute hepatitis in kids rise to 450 cases, 12 deaths: ECDC

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According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, approximately 450 children worldwide have been infected with the mysterious acute hepatitis condition, with 12 deaths.

The liver disease, which was first reported in the UK in April, has claimed the lives of 12 people in Indonesia (5), Palestine (1), the United States (5), and Ireland (1). The United Kingdom (176) and the United States (110) have reported the most cases, with another 100 reported from European countries including Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.

Since early April, 21 countries have reported’severe hepatitis of unknown origin’ among children, mostly under the age of ten, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). At least 26 children have needed liver transplants.

While no cause has been identified thus far, adenovirus, a common family of infections responsible for illnesses ranging from colds to eye infections, is suspected of causing the condition. Approximately 126 UK cases were tested for adenovirus, with 91 having adenovirus detected (72 per cent). Adenovirus has been found in blood in the majority of cases.

However, the ECDPC stated in a statement: “Other hypotheses and possible co-factors are under investigation. Most cases continue to be reported as sporadic un-linked cases.”

However, in many cases, adenovirus has only been detected in blood or plasma samples, with low viral loads.

As a result, even the WHO stated that “adenovirus has not yet been identified in the liver tissue samples examined and thus may be a coincidental rather than a causal factor.”

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) also found SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, in 24 of the 132 cases with results (18 per cent).

According to the agency “SARS-CoV-2 serological testing is in process”.

Last week, health officials in the United Kingdom investigated whether ‘dog exposures’ were to blame, according to the Guardian.

According to the UKHSA, a’significant’ number of British children with hepatitis come from dog-owning families.

The officials did not explain how dogs could be to blame, but they are known carriers of adenovirus strains, according to the report.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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