Hundreds of cases worldwide have been confirmed by investigators and more American states have been reporting cases lately. U.S. federal authorities said they are investigating 274 likely child hepatitis cases based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has reported cases of unidentified origin in 39 states. It is not clear what is happening with the hepatitis outbreak according to officials in the United States and other nations.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirmed more than 700 possible cases of child hepatitis during a news conference on June 8. The WHO said at least 38 cases have required liver transplants while 10 have died. The United Nations (UN) agency added that there are another 99 cases that need to be classified.(Related: UNKNOWN hepatitis strain found in 169 vaccinated children from 11 countries.)
On June 9, the Kentucky Department of Public Health confirmed six cases of child hepatitis of mysterious origin in the state.
The WHO said these hepatitis cases have been more serious and a "higher proportion of patients have developed acute liver failure compared with previous reports of acute hepatitis of unknown etiology in children."
"While adenovirus is a plausible hypothesis as part of the pathogenesis mechanism further investigations are ongoing for the causative agent; adenovirus infection (which generally causes mild self-limiting gastrointestinal or respiratory infections in young children) does not fully explain the more severe clinical picture observed with these cases," the UN health agency said.
During a previous CDC reporting about hepatitis cases in Alabama, it was revealed that the nine children diagnosed with the mysterious hepatitis all tested positive for adenovirus, which is a common virus that causes cold-like symptoms. Interestingly, the virus vector being used in the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines is an adenovirus.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver and is commonly caused by a viral infection. The hepatitis A, B and C viruses are usually linked with the condition, although officials say that liver inflammation can also be caused by long-term or heavy alcohol usage, drug overdoses, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs and toxins.
Symptoms of hepatitis include jaundice or the yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark-colored urine, joint pain, a loss of appetite, fever and fatigue.
Serious cases resulting in liver failure are particularly rare in children, so clinicians in the United Kingdom naturally became worried when they saw an increase in such cases with no cause. The common hepatitis viruses have not been detected in any of the children affected.
"This is definitely unusual, and I can't think of many times in my career where we have faced something like this. What's unusual is that it's fulminant hepatitis, which basically means the liver has failed completely in these children. That's extremely rare in childhood. And it has put us all on high alert," said Asha Bowen, a clinician at Perth Children's Hospital in Australia and an infectious diseases researcher at Telethon Kids Institute.
The children were mostly healthy before becoming sick and being diagnosed. Their hepatitis was described as "severe and acute" by the WHO.
A lot of the children suffered from gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Some also had jaundice, a condition caused by liver damage.
Adenoviruses were discovered in more than 70 of the children, while 20 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
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This video is from the Truth or Consequences channel on Brighteon.com.
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