WHO identifies nearly 230 probable cases worldwide

These are dozens of cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to receive reports of hepatitis in children. In total, the WHO has identified nearly 230 probable cases worldwide and their origin remains to be determined, she said on Tuesday.

“Thus, as of May 1, at least 228 probable cases have been reported to WHO in 20 countries, and more than 50 other cases are under investigation,” detailed WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic. , during a regular press briefing by UN agencies in Geneva. “These cases were reported by four of our six WHO regions,” he added.

At least one death

The origin of these severe inflammations of the liver remains unknown. The majority of cases have been reported in Europe, first in the United Kingdom. On April 5, WHO was informed of 10 cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown etiology in children under 10 in central Scotland. By April 8, 74 cases had been identified in the UK.

This hepatitis mainly affects children under 10 years old, and is manifested by symptoms such as jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Some cases required liver transplantation. At least one child has died.

The trail of an adenovirus

The usual viruses that cause acute viral hepatitis (A to E) were not detected in any of the cases, according to the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) and WHO. An analysis of these mysterious cases of hepatitis in the United States led the American health authorities to favor the track of an adenovirus last week without however establishing it as a definitive cause.

Commonplace, adenoviruses are generally rather known to cause respiratory symptoms, conjunctivitis or even digestive disorders. Transmission occurs by the faecal-oral or respiratory route, with epidemic peaks often in winter and spring, and more often in communities (nurseries, schools, etc.). The majority of humans are infected before they are 5 years old. Their role in the development of mysterious hepatitis, however, remains unclear.

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