USA: Five dead in 109 mysterious cases of childhood hepatitis

There have now been 109 reported cases of mysterious childhood hepatitis in the United States, including five suspected-related deaths. The US health authority CDC said on Friday that 90 percent of the young patients had to be treated in the hospital, in 14 percent of the cases a liver transplant was necessary. Most children would have made a full recovery.

cases in 25 states

The cases were registered in 25 states and territories in the United States. “Investigators here and abroad and around the world are working hard to find out the cause,” said CDC representative Jay Butler. In more than half of the cases, the adenovirus 41 was detected in the children.

“Because of its association with adenovirus, I would say it’s at the top of the list of viruses of interest,” Butler said. “But we don’t know if it’s the adenovirus itself that’s causing the cases, or if it’s an immune response to that particular strain of virus.”

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that rarely occurs in healthy children. Recently, the number of mysterious hepatitis diseases in children has increased worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday it had received at least 228 such cases in 20 countries as of May 1.

adenoviruses

The EU health authority ECDC is also examining a possible connection with adenoviruses – widespread viruses that normally only cause mild illnesses – as a “working hypothesis”. There are more than 50 types of these viruses that are transmitted by droplet infection. Most of these pathogens cause colds, but some trigger other symptoms. Adenovirus 41 is known to cause gastrointestinal inflammation in children.

The US authorities are also investigating other possible causes. Among other things, it is examined whether pets lived in the households of the affected children or whether other viruses such as the corona virus could be responsible for the diseases. Experts see no connection between the recent cases and corona vaccinations, since many affected children were not vaccinated.

Leave a Reply