Is the mysterious hepatitis virus spreading from the UK a new global epidemic?

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The mysterious hepatitis virus, which began appearing in the UK on 5 April and later spread to 11 countries in Europe, the Middle East and America, is the subject of claims of a new global epidemic after Covid-19 due to the inability to determine the cause of its formation.

Is the mysterious hepatitis virus spreading from the UK a new global epidemic? 1

The hepatitis virus, which was first detected in 10 children under the age of 10 in Scotland on 5 April, spread across the UK on 8 April, infecting 64 more children, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Hepatitis cases then spread to Israel and the United States, especially in some European countries. As of April 21, WHO had reported 114 cases of hepatitis from the UK, 13 from Spain, 12 from Israel, 9 from the United States, 6 from Denmark, 2 each from Ireland, 4 each from the Netherlands and Italy, 2 each from Norway and France, and 1 from Belgium.

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169 cases, 1 loss of life so far

So far, at least 169 children have been infected by the unspecified hepatitis virus, and one person has died, the WHO said.

It was noted that hepatitis virus usually occurs in children between the ages of 1 month and 16 years, and 17 children whose livers have failed due to the severe effects of the virus have received liver transplants.

It was reported that the general symptoms of the virus were abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, and in most cases there was no high fever.

Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E, which are known hepatitis viruses, were not found in any of the cases.

Possibility of connection with Covid-19 and adenovirus

In countries where cases have been reported, scientists are looking at the possibility that the mysterious hepatitis virus may be linked to Covid-19 and adenovirus, which affects the upper respiratory tract.

According to WHO data, adenovirus has been found in 74 cases so far, Covid-19 in 20 and covid-19 in 19 cases.

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To clarify the possibility of covid-19 and adenovirus connectivity of the hepatitis virus, WHO is examining samples from the cases in the laboratory.

So far, no direct link to these two viruses has been detected in the cases.

The new global pandemic?

The definition of the disease by the WHO as “mysterious” or “unspecified” raised the possibility of a new “global epidemic” while bringing to mind the Covid-19 virus.

Covid-19 was described as a “mysterious lung condition” before it was named.

“The presence of adenovirus in children raises questions”

Dr. Semih Tareen, Director of Gene Therapy and Virologist at American biotechnology firm Sana, told an AA reporter about the concerns about mysterious cases of hepatitis.

Tareen stated that the viruses that normally cause liver failure are hepatitis A, B, C and D viruses, the cause of which is known. That’s why research has begun on what causes hepatitis infections,” he said.

Tareen noted that the number of people who have adenovirus as a result of the tests is predominant. Because adenovirus does not normally cause liver hepatitis in healthy children.”

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Tareen underlined that adenovirus has so far only cause hepatitis in people with immunodeficiency. Therefore, it is not known exactly where these hepatitis viruses come from.”

“Nothing to worry about at this time”

Tareen said there may be a high probability of adenovirus link in mysterious hepatitis infections, stressing that “the evidence so far indicates that the cases are linked to adenovirus 41”, but that research is ongoing to confirm this link.

Asked about the possibility of mysterious hepatitis cases leading to a new global epidemic, Tareen said, “There is nothing to worry about at the time, but at the same time we don’t know the exact cause of the cases. We’ll find out in time.”


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