WHO reports 348 cases of mysterious hepatitis in 20 countries

WHO logo at the entrance to its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

WHO logo at the entrance to its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Tuesday that there were 348 probable cases of a mysterious variant of hepatitiswhich especially affects children and that studies on its possible link with adenovirus and COVID-19 infection were accelerated.

According to the entity, cases were reported in 20 countries, with an additional 70 cases from 13 other countries that are pending classification pending the completion of tests.

Only six countries report more than five cases, while Great Britain reports more than 160 infections.

“There have been some important developments in the last week with additional research and some refinements of the working hypotheses,” Philippa Easterbrook, of the WHO global hepatitis programme, told a news conference.

«Currently, the main hypotheses are the one involving the adenovirus, and the role of COVID also remains important,» he said.

The WHO was first informed on April 5 of 10 cases in Scotland detected in children under 10 years of age. Three Indonesian children have died from the disease.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday it was investigating 109 cases, of which five deaths have been reported.

This hepatitis causes jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Some cases have caused liver failure and required transplants.

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