WHO reports first child death in mysterious acute hepatitis outbreak

WHO reports first child death in mysterious acute hepatitis outbreak

The World Health Organisation has reported the first death linked to acute hepatitis in children.

On Saturday, 23, April, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that there had been at least 196 reported cases of children contracting acute hepatitis in 12 different countries including the UK, Spain, Denmark, Italy and France. The UK has seen the majority of cases with 114 reported instances as of 21 April. According to the WHO, there has been one fatality linked to this mysterious outbreak in young children, but they have not yet reported the age or nationality of the child. The reported cases range from patients that are as young as one-month-old to teenagers, at 16 years of age, with 17 patients needing liver transplants following the disease.

The news follows the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) previously issuing a warning due to the increase in acute cases of hepatitis in children that has been occurring for some weeks in the United Kingdom and sounded the alarm for European specialists to be on the lookout for possible cases.

The UK Health Security Agency has said that adenoviruses, which are a family of common viruses normally the cause of mild colds, vomiting and diarrhoea, could be a factor in these hepatitis cases. Experts who are currently investigating and researching the mysterious child hepatitis outbreak have hypothesised that Covid lockdowns could have been a key factor in the weakening of children’s immunity, putting them at an increased risk of contracting an adenovirus.

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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.