What we know about hepatitis of unknown origin that affects children

In the first two cases Acute hepatitis whose cause (etiology) has been reported indefinitely In France. Both cases, which occurred in children under the age of 10, are under medical investigation. For public health France, the identification in this case, at the University of Lyon, It is not unexpected and does not reflect, at this stage, additional cases in France. “.

Currently, 93 cases have been recorded by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Most come from the UK, with 74 children suffering from liver inflammation of unknown origin. Franceinfo takes stock of our current knowledge about this childhood hepatitis.

A series that began in Scotland

This Acute hepatitis of unknown etiologyOf the ten children under the age of 10 living in central Scotland, which affected only children, was identified 5 April. One week later, on 12 April, the United Kingdom announced that 61 more children, mostly between the ages of 2 and 5, had contracted the same disease and were subject to health checks in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the ECDC reported on its website. (Article in English).

This European agency works in partnership with the National Health Organization and WHO to monitor investigations, share information and identify cases. Thus, since 15 April, three confirmed cases have been reported in Spain among children aged 22 months to 13 years.

Two more cases have been identified in France. And “Other reports may be expected in the coming days”, Public Health France has warned. But nowhere else in the world and this “Before the etiology was found ” Who said (Article in English). Thus, on April 19, nine suspected cases were identified among children aged 1 to 6 in Alabama, USA.

Some children had to have a liver transplant

Based on the primary field studied in the UK (Article in English)Almost all were sick children “A jaundice”But also “Gastrointestinal symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting, and lethargy”. No one had a fever in the weeks leading up to the hospitalization.

Some children were transferred to specialized units and “Six babies have had liver transplants”WHO report. “As of April 11, no deaths have been reported in these cases and an epidemic-related case has been identified.”

The Covid-19 vaccine is not the cause

All patients were healthy before showing clinical signs of liver infection. “No link found with Covid-19 ticker”, ECDC Assurance. In fact, none of the sick and treated children in the UK have been vaccinated against Covid-19, the British government has assured. (Article in English).

However, in some cases positive tests have been performed “Sars-CoV-2 and / or adenovirus”, Says WHO. Adenovirus is a family of common viruses that usually cause a variety of mild illnesses, such as the common cold or respiratory infections. Most patients recover without complications. Hepatitis is nevertheless one of the possible (but rare) complications of this adenovirus.

“But adenovirus is a virus that is often found in children, so we are not sure if it is responsible.Pediatrician expectations Robert Cohen, Infectious Diseases Specialist (Val-de-Marne), Cretel Hospital, At the microphoneEurope d. In severe hepatitis, the first causes are not viral, they are toxic.

Infectious causes are preferred

Although in cases of acute hepatitis of undefined etiology in children “Not uncommon” Public Health recalls France, research is underway to determine the exact reasons for directing clinical and public health activities. Laboratory tests canceled “In all cases of hepatitis virus type A, B, C and E.”WHO says.

Due to contamination of adenovirus tracks and SARS-Cavi-2 led to a long covid, other tracks have been excavated by the British Health Authority. Especially contamination of food origin (water or poorly washed food) or environmental origin. In addition, Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah, head of the ANRS-emerging infectious disease health organization in France, explained “The cause can be contagious and viral.”. This is also the reason “Most likely due to the clinical and epidemiological features of the cases studied”, According to ECDC.

Wash hands to prevent it

The best way to prevent infection is to wash your hands thoroughly and follow normal sanitary rules, especially in young children. In case of symptoms Jaundice, white stools, dark urine with or without fever -, Public Health France recommends consulting a specialist.

The WHO has not yet recommended restricting travel to the UK or any other country where the case has been identified.

Leave a Comment