Sudden increase in Global mysterious Hepatitis Cases in Children
The number of mysterious cases of acute hepatitis in children continues to grow, with hundreds of incidences now being reported worldwide. Although cases have been reported across multiple continents, most have been reported in the United Kingdom. Scientists and healthcare professionals around the world are continuing to investigate a sudden increase in hepatitis cases in children. Acute hepatitis in children is certainly not new, and it can be worrisome. Successful worldwide vaccination campaigns over the past few decades have led to demonstrable improvements in public health and well-being by reducing the incidence and consequences of two viral causes -hepatitis A and B viruses. Hepatitis is a condition that affects the liver and can be caused by infection with a virus.
Six hundred and fifty probable cases of acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology in children have been reported to WHO from 33 countries in five WHO Regions between 5 April and 26 May 2022. (According to WHO report)
There are several viruses that can infect the liver, the best-known being hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. These viruses are all quite different – some of them can be prevented by vaccination and some can be treated with antiviral therapies.
What are common symptoms of Hepatitis?
Yellowing of the white parts of the eyes or skin (jaundice), Dark urine, pale grey colored faces, itchy skin, muscle and joint pain, a high tempreture etc
What could be causing the outbreak?
Initial findings suggest that an adenovirus – a common type of virus that causes a range of symptoms and illnesses
Could the cases be linked to COVID-19 infection or vaccine?
There is no link between these hepatitis cases and the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain viruses that can grow in the human body. There were no COVID-19 vaccinations recorded in cases under 5, the age group which makes up over 75% of hepatitis cases.
- Clinical Spectrum of Children with Acute Hepatitis of Unknown Cause
N Engl J Med 2022; 387:611-619 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2206704
- Kelly, D.A., Stamataki, Z. Sudden onset hepatitis in children. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-022-00652-4
- Hepatitis outbreak in children: What do we know so far?
- Mysterious hepatitis outbreak sickens young children in Europe as CDC probes cases in Alabama
- Acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology in children – Multi-country