The UK Health and Safety Agency said it could not rule out other possible causes, such as Covid, which it is also investigating, but the adenovirus has been identified in 40 of the 53 cases tested so far.
In the UK, the incidence has reached 81 in England, 14 in Scotland, 11 in Wales and five in Northern Ireland, where the majority of patients are under five years of age.
No children have died in the UK, this has been confirmed after the World Health Organization said there were 169 cases globally, with at least one child dying from the disease.
Eleven babies have had “super emergency” liver transplants in the past three months because of this virus.
This represents an increase in the need for transplants in the UK, where typically less than 80 children undergo liver transplants each year.
Adenoviruses are a family of common viruses that cause mild illnesses such as colds, vomiting, and diarrhea. They are common in children and do not usually cause hepatitis, but they can be a rare complication of some sort.
Officials are investigating whether there is a cofactor that affects young children that causes normal adenovirus infections to have a more severe or specific immune response. This includes increased susceptibility to viruses due to lack of prior exposure to previous or current Covid infection.
From January to April, 16 percent of children tested positive for Covid-19. However, this was at a time when the prevalence was high, experts note. No association with Covid vaccines has been identified and no children under 10 years of age have been vaccinated.
Experts are investigating any individual medical conditions that may be related, although none of them have been identified yet.
Dr. Mera Chand, Director of Clinical and Developmental Infections at UKHSA, said: “The information gathered from our research is increasingly suggesting that this increase in sudden-onset hepatitis in children is associated with adenoviral infection. However, we are thoroughly investigating other potential causes.
“Parents and guardians should warn of signs of hepatitis (including jaundice) and if they are interested, contact a healthcare professional. Conventional hygiene measures such as thorough hand washing (including child supervision) and thorough respiratory hygiene help reduce the spread of many common infections, including adenoviruses. Children who experience symptoms of a gastrointestinal infection, such as vomiting and diarrhea, should stay home and not return to school or kindergarten within 48 hours of the cessation of symptoms.
Symptoms of hepatitis include yellowing (jaundice) of the eyes or skin, dark urine, pale, grayish discharge, itchy skin, muscle and joint pain, fever, nausea and / or vomiting, and unusual tiredness. Time, loss of appetite and abdominal pain.
Doctors name the probable cause of mysterious hepatitis in children
Source link Doctors name the probable cause of mysterious hepatitis in children