Copenhagen: According to a risk assessment paper released by the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region, Britain has reported an “unexpectedly significant increase” in cases of severe acute hepatitis in young children, sometimes associated with Covid-19.
On Friday, 5 April, the WHO was notified of 10 cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown etiology in children under the age of 10 in central Scotland, reports Xinhua news agency.
“As of 8 April, 74 cases had been identified in the United Kingdom,” the press release said.
Laboratory testing conducted after the outbreak ruled out hepatitis A, B, C and E viruses (as well as D in some cases), but “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and/or adenoviruses multiple cases detected,” according to WHO.
“While some cases tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and/or adenovirus,” the UN health body said genetic analysis of the virus should be done to determine any possible link between cases.
“In some cases there is a need for transfer to specialist children’s liver units and liver transplantation of six children. No death has been reported in these cases till April 11.
A series of cases across Europe have raised concerns in the wake of the UK notification. In Ireland, there have been five cases (confirmed or suspected).
In addition, there have been three confirmed cases of acute hepatitis of unknown etiology in children aged 22 months to 13 years in Spain.
According to the WHO, “these cases are currently being investigated by national authorities.”
The WHO “strongly encouraged” member states to identify, investigate and report potential cases that meet the case definition.