Health

Mysterious virus causing hepatitis spreads to many countries


Health officials say they have discovered more mysterious cases of hepatitis in children in the US and at least four other European countries.

The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 19 recorded hepatitis cases in Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain, but has not reported a specific number of cases. The US also identified nine cases of the virus, aged one to six years old, in the state of Alabama.

Last week, Britain said that from January to April, the country recorded a total of 74 cases of hepatitis in children. Patients are mainly children under 10 years old. After doing tests, the doctor found that the children were not infected with one of the 5 common hepatitis viruses, namely A, BC, D, E. The children’s clinical symptoms were determined to be acute hepatitis, with liver enzymes. markedly increased, often accompanied by jaundice, sometimes with digestive problems.

“Mild hepatitis is a common condition in children after infection with certain viruses. But the situation is completely different now,” said Graham Cooke, professor of infectious diseases at Imperial College London, said. .

Many patients in the UK are prescribed treatment in liver specialists, some of them need a liver transplant.

Among the hepatitis cases, some children have Covid-19 or adenovirus – a cold virus. The British Health Security Agency also previously suspected the children had Covid-19 or another infection, which later progressed to hepatitis.

However, Professor Cooke does not believe that Covid-19 is the cause of hepatitis in children.

“If this was a sequel to Covid-19, the number of hepatitis cases should have been more, because the epidemic is now spreading strongly throughout the country. It is not possible to determine the cause of this mysterious hepatitis,” he said. speak.

Microscopic images of unidentified hepatitis viruses. Image: Sky News

Other scientists believe that adenovirus is the culprit behind hepatitis, because children in the UK and the US are infected with the virus. Adenovirus usually leaves red eyes, sore throat or diarrhea. However, many other doctors say that adenovirus is quite common, finding this virus in patient samples does not mean that they are the cause of hepatitis.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the cases in the UK are not linked, they have not traveled recently. WHO is conducting many tests to determine whether the cause of hepatitis is a chemical or toxic substance.

Thuc Linh (According to AP)

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