The World Health Organization (WHO) has been notified of at least 228 cases of acute childhood hepatitis of unknown origin, and there are already twenty affected countries, almost double the number reported 10 days ago, said a spokesman for the organization. .
The spokesman, Tarik Jasarevic, indicated in a press conference from Geneva that another 50 suspected cases are being investigated, noting that at least four regions are affected (most of the cases were reported in Europe but there have also been notifications in America, Asia-Pacific and South Asia).
The first ten cases of this acute hepatitis were reported by the United Kingdom to the WHO on April 5, in children under ten years of age without previous ailments, and since then they have also been detected in countries such as Spain, Israel, Denmark, Italy, United States, Indonesia and Belgium, among others.
The age of those affected ranges from one month to 16 years, in most cases they do not present fever, and in none of them have the viruses usually associated with these ailments been detected (those of hepatitis A, B, C, D and E), according to the health organization.
At least four of these cases have been fatal (three in Indonesia), and the WHO indicated in its April 23 report that a tenth of the children affected until then had required a liver transplant after contracting this new disease, which usually lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting.
The WHO considers that this disease is caused by an adenovirus, perhaps type 41, detected in dozens of these cases, although this class of virus is normally associated with mild respiratory ailments.