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“The cases are worrying because we do not know their cause, transmission route, ways to prevent and treat it," anti-microbial resistance expert Mougkou lamented.
On Tuesday, Europe’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Director Andrea Ammon informed that nine European countries, the U.K., the U.S., and Israel reported at least 190 severe child hepatitis cases over the last week.
"The disease has appeared in children between 0 and 16 years old, the large majority of whom were previously healthy," Ammon said, stressing that these children had jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain before showing signs of severe hepatitis.
The World Health Organization (WHO) ongoing research conducted in countries that have confirmed cases excluded viral hepatitis types A, B, C, D, and E, everyday exposure, international travel, or COVID immunization as factors to this disease.
“The cases are worrying because we do not know their cause, transmission route, ways to prevent and treat it," ECDC anti-microbial resistance expert Aikaterini Mougkou lamented.
Beijing launched mass coronavirus testing for nearly all its 21 million residents today. Fears are growing that the Chinese capital could be placed in a strict lockdown like Shanghai pic.twitter.com/Eo6u1yN5eG
Nevertheless, Mougkou considered that the hepatitis outbreak could be linked to a common-cold-causative adenovirus, which was detected in 74 cases.
“Young children who have spent their formative stages under coronavirus-related lockdowns over the last two years had not built up immunity to adenoviruses,” she pointed out, adding the combination of a normal adenovirus along with another factor can be making hepatitis more severe in children.
"It is difficult to make a risk assessment with so many unknown factors, but we already know the impact of this hepatitis is high," Ammon said and lamented that a child died, and 17 others have required liver transplantation for this disease.