Cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin have been detected in children in different countries

The World Health Organization is sometimes investigating cases of severe liver inflammation. The normal hepatitis virus was not detected in these sick children.

A “strange and worrying” hepatitis, according to the journal Science. The World Health Organization announced on Friday that it was monitoring dozens of children under the age of 10 in the UK for not detecting hepatitis, a case suspected in other countries.

The source of this disease is currently unknown. The United Nations and British health authorities have begun research. If a death is not made miserable, then some cases are serious in healthy children. Six of them needed liver transplants.

Unknown origin

The warning began in Scotland on 5 April when the United Kingdom reported ten cases of acute hepatitis there. Three days later, 74 were identified. Suspicious cases have also been reported in Ireland and Spain, and “doctors in Denmark and the Netherlands are reporting similar cases,” the science said. Across the Atlantic, nine cases are being investigated in Alabama.

In France, following an “active search for cases”, “two cases of acute hepatitis whose etiology has not yet been determined have been reported by Lyon University Hospital in children under the age of 10,” the public health agency France reported in an interview with AFP.

Contacting BFM Lyon, Hospices Civils de Lyon indicated that the two lawsuits had been “settled since 15 days ago, one a month earlier”. One of the “viral sources of hepatitis, the other will be a metabolic / genetic source, tests are still being analyzed”, specify HCL, who do not see any obvious link to “known hepatitis in the UK”.

Symptoms identified by health authorities include jaundice, heavy urination, abdominal pain (diarrhea, vomiting), muscle and joint pain, high temperature and fatigue. They mainly affect children under 10 years of age and are characteristic of hepatitis.

It is called hepatitis because it is an inflammation of the liver. However, the common viruses (A to E) of the disease could not be detected in infected children. The WHO has therefore announced that it is launching research “to understand the etiology of this field”.

Several ways are considered

Preliminary estimates that these children may be ill include toxic exposure to food, drink or toys. Scientists are also looking into other possible factors, such as environmental factors

For now, however, the main suspects are adenoviruses, a group of viruses that often cause colds or respiratory infections. They can cause hepatitis, although healthy children rarely get seriously ill. These adenoviruses have, in fact, been detected in a number of children with the disease.

Another hypothesis: a link to Kovid-19. Several of these children tested positive for SARS-Cov-2 before or during their hospitalization. A track that is considered but which is far from being confirmed at the moment. Health authorities, on the other hand, have denied any involvement with the anti-covid vaccine because it was not given to any child.

“No other epidemic risk factors have been identified to date, including recent international travel,” the WHO said in a statement.

No case was found in France

The UN agency has warned of an imminent rise in the number of cases. “Given the increase in cases reported last month and the improvement in case-finding activities, more cases are likely to be reported in the coming days,” he wrote.

In France, following the WHO announcement, Public Health France asked physicians, in particular, to analyze hospital data that could shed light on such cases in the region.

To protect against the disease, Meera Chand of the British Health Protection Agency (UKHSA) recalls that “general hygiene measures” such as hand washing “help a lot in reducing infections like the ones we are investigating ৷ now”.

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