US, Europe, UK report severe cases of hepatitis among children

Reports say the UK has detected severe cases of hepatitis among children including in the US and Europe.

Ireland and Spain have also reported acute hepatitis cases in children, the World Health Organisation(WHO) said. 

At least 74 children under 10 have reportedly been detected with the disease in the UK even as the WHO has launched an investigation.

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The US CDC said it is investigating cases in  Alabama including in other states. Spanish media reported children aged between 2 and 7 had contracted the disease.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver and is caused due to several factors including viral infections. The WHO said at least nine children in the UK had fallen ill last month including one in January.

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The UN health body said it was notified of 10 cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology in children under the age of 10 years across central Scotland earlier this month and on April 8, 74 cases were identified in the United Kingdom.

“Hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, E, and D where applicable) have been excluded after laboratory testing,” it said while cautioning that more cases may be reported.

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WHO said no deaths have been reported while informing that “the United Kingdom has recently observed an increase in adenovirus activity, which is co-circulating with SARS-CoV-2” however it added that the “role of these viruses in the pathogenesis is not yet clear”.

The WHO called for clinical and public health response in the UK while it investigates the cases. It has also launched investigations in Ireland and Spain, the health body said. 

(With inputs from Agencies)