Hepatitis of unknown origin: more is known about the nature of the disease, says WHO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday (May 11th) that it had identified 348 probable cases of this hepatitis of unknown origin, in order to be eligible for the hypothesis of an adenovirus generally associated with gastroenteritis.

The nature of the hepatitis of unknown origin, which has caused 348 probable and identified cases worldwide in recent weeks, mainly in children, could have been detected, according to the latest WHO statements. At a press conference as part of her global hepatitis program, she made it clear that the preferred hypothesis is that it leads to an adenovirus, a category of virus known to cause disorders such as conjunctivitis, respiratory symptoms, or still digestive disorders.

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“Significant progress has been made in complementary investigations and refining working hypotheses,” said Philippa Easterbrook, the WHO’s global hepatitis program. “At present, the main hypotheses remain those involving adenovirus, also taking into account the important role of Covid-19, either as a co-infection or as a previous infection,” he said. she added.

70% of positive cases of adenovirus

Tests performed in the last week confirmed that around 70% of the identified cases were positive for adenovirus and below type 41, normally associated with gastroenteritis. Tests showed that the environment 18% of cases of harm were positive for Covid-19. “Next week, we will focus on serological tests for previous exposures and Covid infections,” said Philippa Easterbrook.

Following the discovery of the first 169 cases, the WHO indicated that hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses had not been detected in any of the patients. Most of them had gastrointestinal symptoms, especially abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, or especially abdominal pain. Some have caused liver failure and a need for a transplant.

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