Outbreak of mysterious childhood hepatitis tops 1,000 reported cases, WHO says |

According to the new Refresh Wednesday from the World Health Organization (WHO), 35 countries in five regions of the world reported more than 1010 probable cases unexplained severe acute hepatitis or inflammation of the liver, in young children since the outbreak was first identified on 5 April.

Already, 22 children diedand nearly half of the likely cases are in Europe, with a total of 484 cases in 21 countries.

Regional Tips

This includes 272 cases in the United Kingdom – 27 percent of the world’s total cases, followed by the Americas, where the region’s total of 435 cases includes 334 cases in the United States, a third of cases worldwide.

The next highest pressure is in the Western Pacific region (70 cases), South-East Asia (19 cases) and the Eastern Mediterranean (two cases).

Seventeen countries reported more than five probable cases, but the actual number of cases may be underestimatedpartly due to limited enhanced surveillance systems, the WHO said.

According to the latest UN health agency assessment, the risk of spreading this outbreak of pediatric hepatitis is “moderate”.“.


Of the 100 probable cases with available clinical data, the most commonly reported symptoms were nausea or vomiting (in 60% of cases), jaundice (53%), general weakness (52%), and abdominal pain (50%). .

The median time between symptom onset and hospitalization was four days.

In laboratory tests, the WHO stated that the affected children did not have hepatitis A to E. Other pathogens such as coronavirus have been detected in a number of cases, but data are incomplete, the UN health agency said.

adenovirus lead

According to the WHO, adenoviruses, which cause a wide range of illnesses such as the common cold, fever, sore throat and pneumonia, were “the most commonly identified pathogens” in cases of pediatric hepatitis.

In Europe, adenovirus has been detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests in 52 percent of cases of childhood hepatitis (193/368); in Japan it was found in only nine percent of cases (5/58).

Due to limited adenovirus surveillance in most countries, it is possible that the true number of childhood hepatitis cases is higher than currently known.

To better understand where the outbreak is occurring, the WHO launched global online surveywhich will also help compare current cases with data from the last five years.

WHO shared a voluntary survey with nine global and regional networks of pediatric hepatologists specializing in liver and other organ problems, as well as other medical specialists working in large national offices, requesting summary data as part of the global event investigation.

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