Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), briefed on the growing number of hepatitis cases in recent weeks.
Ammon stated that the number of children with unspecified hepatitis virus worldwide has increased to 190, adding that 140 of these cases are in European countries.
Ammon noted that the cases are not interconnected, so the increase in cases is not due to international travel.
The link of hepatitis cases to Covid-19 or adenovirus is not yet clear, Ammon said, adding that the ECDC will release a risk assessment report on this issue on April 28.
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The unspecified hepatitis virus, which was first seen in the UK on April 5 and 8 and spread to 11 countries as of April 21, was last seen in a child in Japan today.
Mysterious cases of hepatitis
The WHO announced on April 16th that 74 children in the UK had been diagnosed with the unspecified hepatitis virus. Yesterday it said the virus had spread to 11 countries and there were at least 169 cases.
It was reported that the children who were diagnosed with the virus had symptoms such as jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain for the last month, and 17 children were treated with liver transplants due to severe liver inflammation.
The description of the disease as “mysterious” or “unspecified” brought to mind the Covid-19 virus, raising the possibility of a new “global epidemic”.
Covid-19 was described as a “mysterious lung condition” before it was named.