Officials from the Health Department claim that they have discovered more cases of a mysterious disease called liver cancer in children than was initially identified in Britain. The new infections are spreading to Europe, America and Asia.
British officials last week reported that 74 cases or liver inflammations, also known as hepatitis (or liver inflammation), were found in children aged between 1 and 1. Scientists and doctors are looking into other possible causes of infectious hepatitis, such as COVID-19 and other viruses.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control stated Tuesday that additional cases of acute hepatitis were identified in Spain, Ireland, Spain and Denmark. It did not specify how many. The U.S. government reported that nine children with acute hepatitis were found in Alabama by U.S. officials.
Graham Cooke, an Imperial College London professor of infectious diseases, said that mild hepatitis can be very common in children after a variety of viral infections. However, what’s being seen right now is quite different. A few cases have required liver transplants and specialist care in liver units in the U.K.
Cooke wasn’t convinced COVID-19 was to blame.
He said that if the hepatitis were a result COVID, it would not be surprising to see it more widespread across the country due to the high prevalence (COVID-19).
The European CDC stated that “as of now, the exact cause for hepatitis among these children is unknown.”
Scientists from the United Kingdom previously stated that adenoviruses were one possible cause. This is a group of viruses typically responsible for symptoms such as pink eye, sore throat, and diarrhea. The nine children in Alabama with acute liver disease were tested positive by the U.S. authorities for the adenovirus.
Adenoviruses can be found in children, according to some doctors. However, this does not necessarily indicate that the viruses are responsible.
Officials from the British Ministry of Health ruled out any possible links to COVID-19 vaccines and stated that none of those affected children had been vaccinated.
The World Health Organization stated that although there has been an increase of adenovirus (which is spreading at the same pace as COVID-19) in Britain, it is not clear if these viruses are responsible for triggering hepatitis. Some children tested positive for coronavirus. However, WHO stated that genetic analysis of the virus is needed to determine if any connection between the cases.
The U.K. government stated that no other links were found between the children and had not seen any recent international travel. Laboratory tests are underway to determine whether a chemical or toxins might be the reason.
WHO stated that there were five cases possible in Ireland, and three confirmed cases of the disease in Spain. These cases occurred in children between 22 months and 13 years old.
According to the U.N., the agency stated that due to the increase in cases over the past month and increased surveillance, it was likely that more cases would be detected before the source of the outbreak can be identified.
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