On April 12, the Early Childhood Development Center came out with warning To alert doctors to an unusual increase in unexplained hepatitis, which mainly affects young children.
The background was that the UK had an unusual number of cases of acute hepatitis in otherwise healthy children. The increase occurred this year. As of January, 74 cases were reported in England, Scotland and Wales. The majority of children are between two and five years old. Some suffered severe liver damage, and others required a liver transplant.
The outbreak is far from the British authorities and the infection control authority in the European Union. The cases have not been linked to any of the common viruses that cause hepatitis A to E or travel.
Since the warning was launched last week, similar reports have come in from several other countries in the European Union. to me press release from ECDC, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Spain also had cases of serious and unexplained hepatitis that affected healthy children. Here, too, doctors were unable to detect any of the common viruses that cause hepatitis.
Nine cases of children aged between one and six years have also been reported from Alabama in the United States.
Investigations are now underway in all affected countries to find out more. According to ECDC, International Medical Networks for Hepatology has also been shared.
In some children who developed acute hepatitis B disease, adenovirus was found, a virus that has also spread more than usual in the UK in recent weeks. Some children have also been infected with sars-cov-2.
Bjorn Fischler, a pediatric hepatologist in the department of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, told Dagens Medicine that there were also slightly more acute hepatitis patients in Sweden where the cause was unknown.
– We’ve noticed a little more cases since the end of December 2021, but we’re not seeing such a sharp increase as in the UK. In our case, I do not rule out that it is about a random difference, He says to Dagens Medicin.
Björn Fischler reminds Swedish general practitioners and pediatricians that children of all ages who show signs of jaundice, eg in the white of the eye or have elevated liver values, should always be referred for investigation.
Science Magazine He writes that the researchers’ main theory is that the adenovirus is somehow behind the outbreak.
The British Health Security Agency established the British authority A guide for doctors on the occasion of the outbreak of the disease.
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