Acute childhood hepatitis leaves at least 12 deaths and hundreds of cases worldwide

At least twelve children died from the mysterious acute hepatitis that is being detected all over the world.

The health chiefs of the European Union confirmed 11 victimsbut a twelfth death was announced In Ireland.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control added that there are 450 cases of the deadly liver disease being analyzed around the world.

The Daily Mail indicated that number it will surely be higher because the UK announced another 13 cases last nightand experts believe the recent surge is just the tip of an iceberg.

Five deaths were recorded in the United States, five in Indonesia and one in Palestine, in addition to the death in Ireland..

Hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, can be transmitted by five different types of viruses, A, B, C, D and E; although the disease can also be caused by excessive alcohol consumption; by some medicines and toxic substances or autoimmunely, when the immune system itself attacks the liver.

Present in 20 countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported this week that it received reports of 348 probable cases of acute childhood hepatitis of unknown origin; in addition to 70 additional cases that are waiting to be classified.

According to the WHO Global Hepatitis Program Specialist, Philippa Eastbrookthis new disease has spread with cases in 20 countriesbut possible infections are being investigated in another 13.

Mostly, are children under 10 years of age; and at least 26 children have required liver transplants.

Scientists are puzzled as to what is causing this unusual disease; but the main theory is that it is caused by a group of viruses that normally cause the common cold.

Most of the cases have been detected in the UK (176) and the US (110) so far, but a lack of surveillance in some countries could be masking the true escalation of the outbreak.

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