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Health Officials in Multiple Countries Report Mysterious Liver Illness in Kids; Six Children Reportedly Required Liver Transplants


Health officials in multiple countries are investigating mysterious cases of severe liver disease in children.

The United Kingdom is reportedly investigating at least 74 cases in which children came down with hepatitis, or liver inflammation, according to the World Health Organization.

Spain, Ireland, and the United States have also started investigations into similar cases.

From the WHO:

As of 8 April 2022, further investigations across the United Kingdom have identified a total of 74 cases (including the 10 cases) fulfilling the case definition1. The clinical syndrome in identified cases is of acute hepatitis with markedly elevated liver enzymes, often with jaundice, sometimes preceded by gastrointestinal symptoms, in children principally up to 10 years old. Some cases have required transfer to specialist children’s liver units and six children have undergone liver transplantation. As of 11 April, no death has been reported among these cases and one epidemiologically linked case has been detected.

Laboratory testing has excluded hepatitis type A, B, C, and E viruses (and D where applicable) in these cases while Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and/or adenovirus have been detected in several cases. The United Kingdom has recently observed an increase in adenovirus activity, which is co-circulating with SARS-CoV-2, though the role of these viruses in the pathogenesis (mechanism by which disease develops) is not yet clear. No other epidemiological risk factors have been identified to date, including recent international travel. Overall, the aetiology of the current hepatitis cases is still considered unknown and remains under active investigation. Laboratory testing for additional infections, chemicals and toxins is underway for the identified cases.

Following the notification from the UK, less than five cases (confirmed or possible) have been reported in Ireland, further investigations into these are ongoing. Additionally, three confirmed cases of acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology have been reported in children (age range 22-month-old to 13-year-old) in Spain. The national authorities are currently investigating these cases.

While the potential role of adenovirus and/or SARS-CoV-2 in the pathogenesis of these cases is one hypothesis, the WHO says other infectious and non-infectious factors need to be fully investigated. 

Is the COVID-19 inoculation status of the impacted children among the factors to be investigated?

Since hepatitis is a potential adverse event in Pfizer’s documents, reports should include the COVID-19 inoculation status of each patient. 

All reported U.S. cases thus far have come from Alabama, but officials are looking to see if there are more elsewhere.

ABC News reported:

“Given the increase in cases reported over the past one month and enhanced case search activities, more cases are likely to be reported in the coming days,” WHO officials said in a statement.

The U.S. children ranged in age from 1 to 6 years old, and two required liver transplants. The European cases are in a similar age range, though some have been older, WHO officials said.

The WHO first became aware of the unusual illnesses early this month, when they learned of 10 children in Scotland with liver problems. One got sick in January and the nine others in March. All became severely ill and were diagnosed with hepatitis after being taken to the hospital.

The liver processes nutrients, filters the blood and fights infections. The infections caused symptoms like jaundice, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Hepatitis can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Hindustan Times listed the following points for currently available information on the mysterious illness:

What is this mystery disease? What are the symptoms?

1. Children between the age of 1 to 6 years old have been the target of the disease.

2. The symptoms are general liver diseases like hepatitis or liver inflammation but the cause remains unknown. Jaundice, diarrhoea and abdominal pain have been reported.

3. According to reports, the disease might be related to some kind of virus usually associated with colds.

4. The disease has been so far reported to be severe. Though no children died so far in the US, UK, six children needed liver transplants.

5. Laboratory testing has ruled out the hepatitis type A, B, C and E viruses that usually cause such illnesses. The role of international travel, if any, is not yet known.

6. Some of the European children tested positive for adenovirus, and some tested positive for Covid-19, the WHO said.

7. According to reports, the UK reported an uptick in severe hepatitis among children since January. Alabama said it noticed the rise since last year November.

The United Kingdom, United States, Ireland, and Spain have all started administering COVID-19 inoculations to children five years and older.

Even though there’s no authorization to administer COVID-19 inoculations to children under five-years-old, their COVID-19 inoculation status should still be listed for a thorough comparison.

In my opinion, the COVID-19 inoculation status of their immediate family members should also be investigated.

Every angle should be studied to discover the source of this illness impacting children, whether or not there’s a link to the COVID-19 shots.

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