Acute hepatitis in children: what we know about these inflammations of the liver observed in the United Kingdom

the essential
Nearly 74 cases of liver inflammation have been reported in children under 10, mostly in the UK. The World Health Organization has indicated that it wants to launch research on this subject.

This is an unexplained phenomenon currently affecting young children across the Channel: several cases of hepatitis have been detected in the United Kingdom. In a press release released on Friday April 15, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it wanted to launch research on this subject. The Midi Dispatch make the point.

What happened ?

British health authorities have identified 74 cases of liver inflammation as of Friday, April 15: all have been reported to the World Health Organization. “Of the confirmed cases, 49 are in England, 13 in Scotland and the others in Wales and Northern Ireland,” explains the UK health security agency. Five other cases – confirmed or possible – have also been reported in Ireland, and three more in Spain.

Read also :
United Kingdom: WHO on alert after numerous cases of children affected by hepatitis of unknown origin

For the time being, no case has been detected in France, but the WHO expects new reports, possibly in France: “From the moment it affects several geographical areas, several countries, it is possible”, estimates Yazdan Yazdanpanah, head of the infectious diseases department at the Bichat hospital in Paris, in the columns of the Parisian.

What are the symptoms described?

We are talking about acute hepatitis which has never been identified until now. The United Kingdom Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) lists several symptoms that have been observed in affected patients: “dark urine, pale and gray stools, itchy skin, yellowing of the eyes and skin, muscle and joint pain, high temperature, abnormal fatigue, loss of appetite and stomach aches”.

Who are the patients affected by these inflammations?

This type of inflammation has been observed in the vast majority in children under 10 years of age. Hepatitis of known origin, ie viruses A and E, was not detected in these children. Some cases have led to hospitalization in a service specializing in liver disease. Six children underwent a transplant.

How to explain these inflammations?

For the time being, the British health authorities are examining the hypothesis of another type of virus (“adenovirus”) and other causes such as Covid-19 or environmental factors. The tracks of food and / or drug infections are also studied.

Read also :
The end of hepatitis B and C by 2030?

On the other hand, the track of an adverse effect caused by vaccination against Covid-19 has been ruled out. It has not been given to any affected person in the UK. “No other epidemiological risk factor has been identified to date, including recent international travel,” says the WHO, which “closely monitors the situation”.

How to guard against it?

Meera Chand of the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) pointed out in a statement that “normal hygiene measures” such as hand washing “help to reduce many of the infections we are investigating” and called on parents and babysitters to be alert for signs of hepatitis, and to “contact a healthcare professional if they are concerned”.

Leave a Comment