Health experts in Europe and the United States are looking into cases of a serious liver condition in youngsters that was first discovered in the United Kingdom.
On Tuesday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control announced that an unidentified number of instances of hepatitis, or liver inflammation, had been discovered in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Spain.
Last week, the United Kingdom announced that it had identified 74 serious cases since January, while the United States announced that nine instances of acute hepatitis had been discovered in Alabama.
“Given the increase in cases reported over the previous month and expanded case search actions, additional cases are anticipated to be reported in the coming days,” WHO authorities said last week in a statement.
While mild forms of hepatitis are quite common in children, the severity of the reported cases has caused concern among health officials.
“Mild hepatitis is typical in youngsters after a variety of viral illnesses, but what we’re seeing now is totally different,” said Graham Cooke, an infectious diseases professor at Imperial College London, to the Associated Press news agency.