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A mysterious severe acute hepatitis has been found in 12 countries, including the US and the UK, which has led to over 12 children needing a liver transplant and one dying, said the World Health Organization (WHO). Around 170 children have been affected by this liver disease since April 21, with all the kids between 1 month to 16 years old. Health officials are still trying to figure out the source. The WHO has also said that it’s not too clear whether this increased number is because of an actual increase in cases or an increase in awareness, but it expects more cases to be reported in the coming days.
“It is not yet clear if there has been an increase in hepatitis cases, or an increase in awareness of hepatitis cases that occur at the expected rate but go undetected. While adenovirus is a possible hypothesis, investigations are ongoing for the causative agent,” wrote the WHO on Saturday.
“On 5 April 2022, WHO was notified of 10 cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology in children under the age of 10 years, across central Scotland. By 8 April, 74 cases had been identified in the United Kingdom. Hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, E, and D where applicable) have been excluded after laboratory testing while further investigations are ongoing to understand the aetiology of these cases. 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,” wrote the WHO in a statement on Sunday.