The World Health Organization WHO is further investigating cases of hepatitis in several dozen children, mainly in the United Kingdom.
In some cases, patients had to be transferred to a service specializing in liver disease, and six children had to undergo liver transplants.
Ten days ago, ten cases of severe hepatitis were reported in Scotland; three days later, 74 were counted across the United Kingdom, the WHO reported in a press release on Friday. New notifications are expected in the following days. Ireland has less than five confirmed or possible cases, and Spain has three confirmed cases.
This hepatitis mainly affects children under the age of ten and manifests itself in symptoms such as jaundice, diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
As the usual hepatitis viruses (A to E) have not been detected in the affected children, the UK health authorities have indicated that they are investigating the adenovirus hypothesis and other possible causes such as Covid-19, other infections or environmental factors. The coronavirus and adenovirus have been diagnosed in “several” infected children, but their role in developing the disease “is not yet clear,” according to the WHO.
There is no link whatsoever with any corona vaccines: none of the confirmed cases received such a vaccine. So far, no other epidemiological risk factor, such as a recent trip abroad, has been identified either.