Denmark reports 3 cases of "unknown hepatitis" in children-Xinhua

Denmark reports 3 cases of "unknown hepatitis" in children

Source: Xinhua| 2022-04-21 20:59:43|Editor: huaxia

COPENHAGEN, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Three cases of children contracting hepatitis "without a known cause," also known as idiopathic hepatitis, have been reported in Denmark, according to the Statens Serum Institut (SSI).

"It is more than we would expect. All children have been hospitalized and several have been seriously ill, but fortunately, none of them have needed a liver transplant," said SSI chief physician Anders Koch in a press release Wednesday.

According to the SSI, an unexpected increase in hepatitis among children under the age of 10 has occurred worldwide since the beginning of 2022.

Worst hit by the idiopathic disease has been the United Kingdom where 74 cases have been registered in England and Scotland, with some of the children infected being so severely affected that they required liver transplants.

All the Danish cases meet the "case definition" used in England among children under 10 years of age.

"Normally we keep an eye on hepatitis caused by certain viruses, for example, hepatitis A. But now we have some children with liver damage, which we do not really know what is causing," said the press release.

In Denmark, the first cases have been traced back to December 2021.

Koch does not believe that such a high number of unusual cases should be cause for concern. "Even if there is a specific cause rather than sporadic cases, the risk of an individual child contracting this rare form of hepatitis is still extremely low."

The SSI said it will monitor the situation both locally and internationally,

The World Health Organization (WHO) Office for European Region last week notified of an "unexpected significant increase" in cases of severe acute hepatitis in young children. Symptoms of the disease included jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

The WHO said at the time that "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and/or adenovirus have been detected in several cases."