- The United States may have recorded its first child death in an outbreak of hepatitis across Europe and the states.
- Wisconsin said 4 cases of hepatitis are being investigated – 1 that required a liver transplant, and one that was fatal.
- Experts aren’t sure what causes this hepatitis, but it’s likely caused by a virus.
Wisconsin health officials reported Wednesday four cases of hepatitis in children associated with adenovirus, a type of Lever Inflammation It can be life threatening. Officials stated that one of those cases required a liver transplant, one of which was fatal. This would be the first known death of a child in the United States from the infection of international concern.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Warning to health care providers nationwide after diagnosing at least nine suspicious cases of hepatitis in Alabama. Two more were later reported in North Carolina.
The The World Health Organization says The same strange disease also spread to Europe, where more than 150 children were infected, and at least one died. The largest number of cases reported to date have been in the United Kingdom and Spain.
Dr Philippa Easterbrook, Senior Scientist in the World Health Organization’s Global Hepatitis Program, He said during a question and answer on Thursday That such a rash of “acute hepatitis is unusual” in children, what infuriates pathologists is the fact that “the majority of these children were previously healthy.”
“None of the usual causes explained these cases,” she said.
This rare type of hepatitis is a medical mystery
Children with this unusual form of pediatric hepatitis ranged from one month old to 16 years old, and about 10% had cases severe enough to undergo liver transplants, the World Health Organization said.
The cause of the disease remains a bit of a mystery because affected children have largely tested negative for hepatitis A, B, C, D and E, the usual culprits. The CDC suspects that these new diseases may be linked to infection with a respiratory virus, called adenovirus 41. But independent immunologists are also questioning whether the fact that so many children have recently contracted COVID-19 could have had kind of impact on their lives. Immune systems, too.
Epidemiologist Deepti Gordasani of Queen Mary University of London He said on Twitter That the coronavirus is “known to interact with other viruses”, and may alter our immune response to other pathogens.
COVID-19 infections have seen a sharp rise in children across the United States over the past few months, due in large part to the highly contagious Omicron variant, and the fact that children under 5 years old are the Still not eligible for vaccination. From December 2021 to February 2022, the percentage of children who test positive for infection-Induced antibodies increased from about 44% to more than 75% nationwide The CDC reported earlier this week.
A CDC spokesperson told Insider Thursday afternoon that the agency “has no additional cases beyond confirmed Alabama cases, but we hope to share more information soon.”
For now, experts should “be open” about what might trigger these strange cases, said virologist Muge Cevik of the University of St Andrews. Suggestion on Twitter That there could be a non-infectious explanation for the outbreak, “such as food poisoning, or exposure to drugs, or metals.”