In the past week, there have been “some important advances” in investigating the cases and possible causes, said Philippa Easterbrook of the WHO’s global hepatitis program. “Currently, the leading hypotheses remain those involving adenoviruses – although the role of Covid, either as a co-infection or as a prior infection, also still plays an important role.”
Further testing over the past week confirmed that about 70 percent of hepatitis cases tested positive for adenoviruses, with subtype 41 – usually associated with gastrointestinal inflammation – being the predominant subtype. The tests also showed that about 18 percent of cases tested positive for Covid-19.
Data from UK
With the help of new data from Great Britain, the researchers now want to clarify “whether Adeno is just an accidentally discovered infection or whether there is a causal” connection, Easterbrook said. Previous investigations did not show any of the typical features that would be expected in hepatitis caused by adenoviruses.
Adenoviruses are common viruses that usually only cause mild illness. 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.