Unexplained cases of hepatitis in children: the fear of a new epidemic

Affected children ranged in age from one month to 16 years old, but most were under 10 years old, and many under 5 years old. While none had comorbidities, one patient died, and 17 kidney transplants had to be performed.

For now, an infectious cause seems to be considered the most likely, but no common link with contaminated food or a toxicant has been identified. “Investigations are continuing in all countries reporting cases. Currently, the exact cause of hepatitis remains unknown”according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Health professionals certainly pay particular attention to these unexplained cases, but also try to temporize and stifle any wind of panic. “You always have to take things seriously” and “watch carefully”but “not to fall into psychosis either” because “we don’t even know where it comes from”said Yazdan Yazdanpanah, head of the infectious diseases department at Bichat hospital in Paris and member of the French Scientific Council, in a recent interview with Express.

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