11 Liver Transplants in UK Children After Mysterious Inflammation
The UK Heath Security Agency (UKHSA) published Technical Briefing #3 yesterday, summarizing the ongoing investigations into the unusual rates of acute liver inflammation (hepatitis) with unknown etiology in children.
The UKHSA’s document issued on May 20, 2022, reviews the clinical outcomes for 197 pediatric cases, most living in England. One hundred and eighty of these children were hospitalized, of whom 11 required liver transplantation.
And the usual viruses that cause infectious hepatitis (hepatitis A to E) have not been detected.
The good news is no children in the UK have died from these mysterious infections.
‘It should be noted that the liver inflammation case definitions for children require high -transaminases to be included, and there may be milder cases that have not been reported,’ acknowledged the UKHSA.
Furthermore, the UKHSA investigation continues to suggest an association with adenovirus. Adenovirus (41F) is the most frequently detected virus in samples tested.
So far, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has been detected in about 15% of the UK children with available results, reflecting testing on or around hospital admission.
And there is no evidence of any link to COVID-19 vaccinations since most of these children are three years old and not vaccine-eligible in the UK.
Dr. Renu Bindra, a Senior Medical Advisor at UKHSA, said in a media statement issued on May 19, 2022, ”Our investigations continue to suggest an association with adenovirus infection. Still, we continue to unpick the exact reason for the rise in cases.”
“It’s important that parents know the likelihood of their child developing hepatitis is extremely low.”
“We continue to remind everyone to be alert to the signs of hepatitis – particularly jaundice, look for a yellow tinge in the whites of the eyes – and contact your doctor if you are concerned.”
Research studies of the immune system are also being undertaken in the UK to determine if changes in susceptibility or the effect of prior or concurrent infections could be contributing factors.
According to the European CDC reporting on May 19, 2022, the total number of cases reported worldwide is 614, including 14 deaths, which were reported from Ireland (1), Indonesia (6), Mexico (1), Palestine (1), and the United States (5).
On May 11, 2022, the U.S. CDC issued a Health Alert Network Health Update to provide clinicians and public health authorities with updated information about an epidemiologic investigation of pediatric cases of hepatitis of unknown etiology in the U.S.
And on May 19, 2022, the CDC hosted a web call - Clinical Recommendations for Adenovirus Testing and Reporting of Children with Acute Hepatitis of Unknown Etiology. The CDC had received preliminary reports of 180 patients under investigation through May 18, 2022.
The CDC confirmed about 90% of these children were hospitalized, 8% required a liver transplant, and there have been five related deaths under investigation.
The CDC confirmed it is ‘keeping an open mind and focusing on hypothesis generation, exploring other potential exposures (medications, other infections, toxins, food, water, etc.) as Adenovirus may not be the cause of these pediatric cases.’
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- Investigation into acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology in children in England
- CDTR Week 20, 15-21 May 2022
- CDC: Acute Hepatitis and Adenovirus Infection Among Children - Alabama, October 2021-February 2022
- CDC: Clinical Recommendations for Adenovirus Testing and Reporting of Children with Acute Hepatitis of Unknown Etiology
- ACUTE HEPATITIS CASES IN CHILDREN 2022