An infectious agent could be behind the cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin detected in children in several countries, including Spain, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported on Tuesday.
Since the British authorities raised the alarm on the 5th, similar cases have been registered in Denmark, Ireland, Holland, Spain and the United States, without being able to determine the exact cause for the time being. “The investigative team from the UK, where the majority of cases have occurred to date, consider an infectious agent to be the most likely cause, based on the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the cases,” the ECDC said in a statement.
This reference body for epidemics of the European Union (EU) highlighted that British investigations have ruled out any relationship of the cases with the covid-19 vaccine and that no common exposure to food or drink has been identified.
In most cases no fever was recorded, some required care in liver units and a few required liver transplantation. Investigations have excluded viral hepatitis types A, B, C, D, and E in all cases.
In the thirteen cases detected in Scotland, for which there is detailed information on coronavirus tests, three were positive, five negative and two had a documented covid-19 infection in the previous three months. The ECDC, which is based in Stockholm, reported that it is collaborating with teams from countries where cases have been detected, as well as with the World Health Organization (WHO), to support ongoing investigations.
The health authorities of the Madrid region reported on the 13th that they are investigating the first three cases detected in Spain, one of which required a liver transplant, although all are progressing favorably.
The children, aged between 2 and 7 years old and from three Spanish autonomous communities, are admitted to a Madrid hospital, according to a statement from that region.