Children in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, and the United States have been experiencing a liver disease that is not related to hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E, the viruses that most commonly cause the illness, as said by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“On 5 April 2022, WHO was notified of 10 cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown etiology 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 etiology 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,” warned the WHO.
Not more than five cases were identified in Ireland, and three in Spain. It was then reported that nine such similar cases were found in the U.S.
The cases in the U.S. were all in Alabama. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) cited a possible association of this alarming hepatitis with Adenovirus 41, a respiratory illness that normally causes a mere cold. The WHO further confirmed that Adenovirus 41 could be involved in the cases.
However, there is also some evidence that suggests that COVID-19 can cause liver damage and some of the affected children have tested positive for both the raging virus and Adenovirus 41. The disease is being examined and studied further for better conclusions.