WHO: 228 cases of hepatitis of unknown origin detected worldwide

Baku, May 5, AZERTAC

More than 220 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin in children have been recorded in the world so far, Philippa Easterbrook, a senior WHO researcher, said at a briefing on Wednesday, according to TASS.

"As of May 1, 2022, there are now at least 228 probable cases reported from 20 countries. And there are above 50 that are now under investigation," she said, "But it is important to highlight that only six of the countries are reporting more than five cases . We still have reported one death, and around 18 liver transplants that were performed."

The WHO, according to the specialist, continues to study "all possible infectious and non-infectious causes" of the disease. What is known so far is that the viruses that cause acute viral hepatitis (A, B, C, D and E) are not the cause, Easterbrook stressed. "From the detailed questionnaires of possible exposures, it still applies that there is no link to one geographic area, or common exposure to particular foods or animals, to toxins," she said, "And then again to reiterate the question about a link to COVID vaccines [is not confirmed] as still the majority of children, especially the younger age groups, had not received the vaccine."

For now, the WHO is trying to figure out whether adenovirus could be the cause of hepatitis. The expert pointed out that in general, it is a rather rare disease.

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