450 Children Worldwide Affected by Acute Hepatitis

The number of children with acute hepatitis has risen worldwide this year to about 450. Eleven of these have died, reports the European health service ECDC.


Doctors and researchers in several countries have long sought an explanation for the sudden rise in young children with acute hepatitis.

In the United Kingdom, where the condition first came to light at the beginning of last month, 163 cases of acute hepatitis have now been diagnosed in children under 16. Three weeks ago, this was still 74. There are now 35 cases in Italy and in Spain, 22. There are also reports from the US, Israel, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, France, Romania and Belgium. There are now more than 100 cases in Europe.

The eleven children who died of the puzzling liver infection come from Indonesia (5), Palestine (1) and the US (5).

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The condition comes in various forms. Often a specific hepatitis virus is a cause, but according to the ECDC, this is not the viral form. The scientific journal Science previously reported that many of the sick children tested positive for adenovirus in the UK. That’s a cold virus.

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