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What we know about the hepatitis infection observed in the UK

What we know about the hepatitis infection observed in the UK

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About 74 cases of hepatitis have been reported in children under the age of 10, mostly in the UK. The World Health Organization has indicated that it wants to conduct research on this topic.

It is an inexplicable phenomenon that currently affects young children through the channel: Several cases of hepatitis have been identified in the UK† In a press release on Friday, April 15, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced its intention to begin research on this topic. medidispatch Point out.

What happened ?

UK health authorities identified 74 cases of hepatitis on Friday, April 15, all of which were reported to the World Health Organization. The UK Health Security Agency explains: “Of the confirmed cases, 49 are in England, 13 in Scotland and one in Wales and Northern Ireland.” Five more cases – confirmed or probable – were also reported in Ireland and three more in Spain.

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At the moment, no case has been detected in France, but the World Health Organization expects new reports, possibly in France: “From the moment it affects different geographical regions and different countries, this is possible,” estimates Yazdan Yazdanbana, head of the World Health Organization. . Infectious Committee. The Department of Pathology at the Bichat Hospital in Paris, in columns Parisian

What symptoms are described?

We are talking about acute hepatitis that has not yet been diagnosed. The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) lists some of the symptoms seen in affected patients: “Dark urine, pale and gray stools, itchy skin, yellowing eyes and skin, muscle and joint pain, high temperature, abnormal fatigue, loss of appetite and abdominal pain.” .” †

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Who are the patients of these infections?

This type of inflammation appears in the vast majority of children under the age of ten. Hepatitis of known source, ie, viruses A and E, was not detected in these children. Some cases have led to hospitalization in a department specializing in liver diseases. Six children underwent a transplant.

How do we explain this infection?

UK health authorities are currently studying the hypothesis of a different type of virus (“adenovirus”) and other causes such as Covid-19 or environmental factors. Inflammatory pathways for food and/or medications are also being studied.

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In contrast, the course of side effects caused by vaccination against Covid-19 was excluded. It has not been given to anyone infected in the UK. “So far, no other epidemiological risk factor has been identified, including recent international travel,” says the World Health Organization, which is “closely monitoring the situation.”

How do you protect it?

Mira Chand of the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) noted in a statement that “regular hygiene measures” such as hand washing “help reduce many of the infections we investigate” and called on parents and nannies to be vigilant for signs of hepatitis, and “contact Contact your health care provider if they are interested.