Apr 26, 2022 - World

European health agency probes unexplained child hepatitis cases

ECDC building in 2007

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in Stockholm. Photo: Claus Gertsen/AFP via Getty Images

Around 190 unexplained cases of severe hepatitis have been reported in children in at least a dozen countries, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: Last week, the CDC reported that there were nine cases of hepatitis in children between the ages of 1 and 6.

Details: The outbreak was first observed in early April in Britain, which reported more than 100 cases according to the ECDC.

  • The European Union has reported 40 cases across 10 countries, Dr. Andrea Ammon said at Tuesday's press briefing. The U.S. and Israel have also reported cases.
  • Several children who tested positive for hepatitis experienced acute liver failure and required a liver transplant, according to the ECDC.
  • The ECDC, which found no link between the spike in unexplained cases and travel, do, however, believe an adenovirus is causing the hepatitis.

Of note: The cause of the hepatitis remains a mystery. The hepatitis cases don't include hepatitis from A, B, C, D, or E, which are the viruses usually responsible for liver inflammation, according to ECDC, Reuters reported.

What they're saying: "We at the ECDC will continue to monitor this event and work with the teams in the countries reporting cases and also with the WHO to see what is behind this," Ammon said Tuesday.

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