Likely cause of child hepatitis outbreak identified
Experts in the UK believe they have found the cause of the recent spate of mysterious liver problems affecting children and young people around the world.
Investigations suggest two common viruses returned after pandemic lockdowns ended, and triggered the rare and serious hepatitis cases.
Over 1,000 children in 35 countries are thought to have been affected. Some, including 12 in the UK, have needed a lifesaving liver transplant.
The two teams of researchers say infants exposed later than normal, because of Covid restrictions, missed out on some early immunity to adenovirus, which normally causes stomach upsets and colds, and adeno-associated virus two, which normally causes no illness, and needs a coinfecting virus, such as adenovirus, to replicate.
Professor Judith Breuer, one of the investigators and virology expert at University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital, said “During the lockdown period when children were not mixing, they were not transmitting viruses to each other.
“They were not building up immunity to the common infections they would normally encounter.
“When the restrictions were lifted, children began to mix, viruses began to circulate freely – and they suddenly were exposed with this lack of poor immunity to a whole battery of new infections.”
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Posted by Karen Motley, Clinical Negligence Department, Chadwick Lawrence LLP (email@example.com ), medical negligence lawyers and clinical negligence solicitors in Huddersfield, Leeds, Wakefield and Halifax, West Yorkshire.
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