WHO alarmed as acute hepatitis outbreak in children rises to 348 cases

WHO alarmed as acute hepatitis outbreak in children rises to 348 cases Credit: Creative Commons

On Tuesday, May, 10, The World Health Organisation stated that 348 cases of acute hepatitis in children had been reported globally across 20 countries.

The mysterious global outbreak of acute hepatitis cases in children was first reported in Scotland in early March, since then rapidly expanding to an estimated 20 countries.

“In the last week there have been some important developments with the additional investigations and some refinements of the working hypotheses,” stated Philippa Easterbrook of the WHO’s global hepatitis programme.

“Currently the main hypotheses are those involving adenovirus, and the role of covid also remains important,” she told a news conference.

The UK Health Security Agency previously stated 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.

Most cases have been reported in Europe, but cases have also been reported in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and South Asia, with reports of a Gaza child dying on Tuesday, May, 6, after contracting acute hepatitis according to the Gaza Health Ministry and three further deaths being reported in Indonesia.

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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 [email protected]