Over 1,000 kids affected by acute hepatitis globally, 22 lives lost: WHO
Geneva, July 13 (IANS) About 35 countries have reported 1,010 probable cases of severe acute hepatitis in children, while 22 kids have died from the disease with no cause identified yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.
Since the previous WHO update on June 24, 90 new probable cases and four additional deaths have been reported to WHO.
Additionally, two new countries, Luxembourg and Costa Rica, have reported probable cases.
"Between April 5 (when the outbreak was initially detected) and July 8, 35 countries have reported 1,010 probable cases and 22 deaths," the WHO said in a statement.
However, the global health body noted that "the actual number of cases may be underestimated, in part due to the limited enhanced surveillance systems in place".
About 46 children required liver transplantation. Europe (484) reported the highest number of cases, including 272 cases from the UK alone, followed by the Americas (435).
However, deaths have been highest in the American region (13), followed by Indonesia and Maldives in South-East Asia (6), the WHO said.
The agency said that based on the case definition for probable cases, laboratory testing has excluded hepatitis A-E viruses in these children.
Pathogens like adenovirus (209) and SARS-CoV-2 (78) were detected by PCR in a number of cases, although the data reported to WHO are incomplete.
In the European region, adenovirus was detected the highest by PCR in 193 cases, while SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 54 cases in the region.